Yes, No and WOW!

Blog by Cecily Wright, Mary Hill and Stephen Leahy, Learning Designers

According to Milton Glaser, a celebrated graphic designer in the United States “there are three responses to a piece of design- yes, no and WOW!  WOW is the one to aim for”.  But how and why should we aim for WOW in learning design?  And how can learning design add some WOW to your course?

Learning design, guided by content experts, can influence student success and satisfaction.  A study completed by the Open University UK found that “learner satisfaction was strongly influenced by learning design” and that “learning design had a significant influence on learning activities, learner satisfaction and academic retention”.

How can learning design help you?
Learning design can help you to provide your students with learning activities and clear assessment expectations which make effective use of appropriate resources and technologies. During the design process, learning experiences can be scaffolded and explicitly linked to course learning outcomes. Another result of the learning design process can be an increase in consistency within a degree with scaffolded and sequenced learning between courses.

What is learning design? 
Learning design is a process.  It is an approach to learning which shifts the focus from teaching and the presentation of content towards what students need to do to achieve course learning outcomes.  Learning design can include the creation of engaging and interactive social learning environments and activities in which students find and handle information, communicate, collaborate and explore, practise, apply and critique their learning and complete assessment activities and respond to feedback.

Learning design generally involves a shift away from passive, content-focussed learning towards individual or collaborative activity-based learning.

What is “good” learning design?
Good learning design is evidence-based.  This means that multiple forms of research and evaluation are applied to the design of learning experiences. A new evidence-based Learning Enhancement and Innovation Course Design Rubric is currently being trialled with course coordinators from the Faculty of the Professions.  The rubric is adapted from the following:

For more information, book a meeting with your Faculty Learning Designer.

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