Exploring the Potential of the Learning Designer as a Teacher Support Tool
AbstractThis paper reports on a study carried out with pre‑service teachers who first developed a course by designing it in a Learning Design (LD) tool and then implemented it as a course in Moodle. The research explores the potential of the Learning Designer, the LD tool utilized in the study, by addressing three aspects of the LD tool’s added value for teachers as designers: a) the development of a learning design, b) the reflection on a design and c) the usefulness of the LD process using an LD tool towards the implementation of a design in a Learning Management System (LMS). The findings suggest that the graphical representation of a learning design provided by the LD tool supports designers to structure learning activities. The components of a learning design incorporated in the LD tool such as the learning outcomes, the type of a learning activity according to a typology and how learners are organized scaffold the articulation of the pedagogy of a learning design. Moreover, the pre‑service teachers requested more components e.g. for organizing technology‑enhanced learning and more customizable features e.g. for defining and combining activity types. All means of design analysis, especially the graphical ones trigger the designers’ reflection on the nature of the activities included in a learning design and provoke them to improve it. The pre‑service teachers perceived as beneficial the LD process in the Learning Designer towards considering components of the learning design which are applicable in its implementation as a course in an LMS. Nevertheless, difficulties were reported concerning non‑matching and missing components leading to the reconsideration of aspects of the original design during the implementation. The conclusions drawn from the study’s findings reveal the potential of the Learning Designer to support teachers as designers and are of value both to researchers involved with developing LD tools and to practitioners interested in harnessing an LD tool to promote LD practices.
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