A new era of educational design for learning

This is my response to a post by Hazel Owen on the Ethos consultancy website, March 22, 2012 - The curriculum is dead; long live learning.

People may also be interested in the written article on this topic. Bass, R. (2012) Disrupting ourselves: The problem learning in higher educationEducause Review, March/April, 22-33. This article totally describes what we are trying to do in the curriculum development projects at the Educational Development Centre at Otago Polytechnic. This was a great find, affirming that what we have been trying to do in the organisation since 2007 is regarded as effective, and the best way forward. What is not recognised by most lecturers is the need to design from the experiential phase of learning rather than from the objectives.

What do you actually want the students to experience, and how will you help them get this experience? And how will you guide them to find the information they need to understand the experience? For example, midwives need to know how to 'catch a baby' so when designing curriculum a good place to start is: what do they actually need to know to understand the birthing experience? I believe that lecturers think of this when writing course objectives but why not let the students think what they need to know guided by the lecturers in a constructivist model of learning. Preferably not actually giving birth but many do or have done prior to taking the course. Do they get RPL for this experience? No. Food for thought though isn't it.

Competency-based skills still need to be taught I agree, so a mix of what George Siemens (2005) regards as learning in the transmission domain may be more applicable for this in the form of courses with other learning enabled in the acquisition and emergence domains where self-generated learning (create own objectives etc), inquiry-based learning and reflective and critical thinking are valued. Bronwyn

Bass, R. (2012) Disrupting ourselves: The problem learning in higher educationEducause Review, March/April, 22-33.
Siemens, G. (2005). Learning Development Cycle: Bridging Learning Design and Modern Knowledge Needs. elearnspace: everything elearning. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/ldc.htm