Learning Design Tools

In recents months I worked on a series of practical tools and canvases intended to support educators in ideating, designing, implementing and delivering better learning experiences. Based on academic research in the field of learning experience design, I created a new project with my fellow collaborator Stefano Perna to provide access to these learning design tools.

We started a website, conveniently named learningdesign.tools to share our tools and canvases with the world of educators, content creators, knowledge workers and organizational knowledge managers. In times where access to information becomes ubiquitous and active learning (e.g. as in project based learning or other inquiry based methods) is more and more established as a persistent trend in education, we aim to democratize learning by providing tools, methods and solutions for anyone interested in creating learning experiences, may they be virtual, blended or embodied.

To this effect we aim to cover the entire process of creating great learning interventions, starting from abstract and the same time granular definition of learning outcomes to individual learning activities up to the overall learning experience on a course or even institutional level. On these layers various elements are crucial to consider to create an immersive, learner-directed and meaningful learning experience that serves to transform learners through practice.

As a first tool, we introduced the Learning Objective Design Deck, an interactive tool to plan effective learning outcomes and assessment strategies. Based on the well established Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy the deck provides an interactive approach to curriculum design to ensure conceptual and procedural consistency. The Learning Objective Design Deck is aimed at educators, instructional designers or anyone tasked with creating educational content, ranging from video tutorials, articles and books to workshops, projects and entire classes in school or university.

The Learning Objective Design Deck is licensed under CC BY 4.0 and you can choose between a free downloadable version of the card deck that you can print and cut to get started or a real card deck that will last. Additionally, we created an interactive Learning Objective Design Board that can be used with the virtue whiteboard solution Miro and is available as a free template on Miroverse.

We also hosted a series of workshops to solidify the method and presented the Learning Objective Design Deck at REMOTE – the connected faculty summit hosted by Arizona State University (ASU) in June 2021. The presentation with q&a is available on demand on the platform and also provides a convenient handout with most salient information as well as references to the theoretical backdrop of the method and our own academic research thad led to the development of the card deck.

We hosted an additional workshop at the 8th European Conference on Social Media ECSM 2021 on June 30 2021 at UCLan Cyprus in Larnaca, Cyprus. More workshops are planned for LEARNxDESIGN 2021: 6th International Conference for Design Education Researchers on 24-26 September 2021 at Shandong University of Art & Design in Jinan, China and the 20th European Conference on e-Learning on 28-29 October 2021 in Berlin, Germany.

With an iterative approach, we are continuously evolving the Learning Objective Design Deck to incorporate feedback from users in institutional contexts as well as from our own workshops and ongoing research. Building on the foundation of learning objectives, we are extending our range of tools towards the constructive alignment of learning outcomes and assessment mechanisms and learning activities to constitute a comprehensive toolset to design learning experiences.

For more information, visit learningdesign.tools. There is also a mailing list, in case you want to be notified of any updates or new releases. It is not used frequently and just for any news relevant to the Learning Design Tools.

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