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Learning Designer User Guide

The Learning Designer is web-based tool to help in the creation and sharing of learning
designs (e.g. lesson plans) and to support the integration of learning technology. Your
learning design is displayed as the sequence of activities you have created, similar to a
lesson plan, and shows all its main properties you have designed in, such as topic,
number of students, aims, outcomes, and duration of the learning time.

Watch the Learning Designer video tutorials playlist on the LearningDesignerCommunity
YouTube channel.

Organising learning
The Learning Designer helps you organise a series of teaching and learning activities
(TLAs) to assist in creating a set of learning experiences for the learner to move towards
their learning goals. Like some other tools, the Learning Designer asks you to specify
about your teaching aims, and helps you categorise your learning outcomes according to
Blooms (1956) taxonomy of educational objectives. But the Learning Designer goes
further than this it supports you in designing the teaching and learning activities that
will enable learners to meet those outcomes. Drawing on the Conversational
Framework (Laurillard, 2012), the Learning Designer prompts you to consider the type
of learning experience you want for your students.
Is it learning from reading or listening? Is it learning through discussing, or practicing, or
inquiring, or collaborating, or producing something? You have to decide how long each

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activity is meant to last, even if its something the student is doing at home, or online.
And as you work the Learning Designer gives you a bit of help.

Analysing learning
The Learning Designer helps you reflect about the
planned teaching and learning activities (TLAs) for
you to determine whether or not your design is
supporting the type of learning experience you have
in mind.
It gives you feedback in two ways: (i) It calculates
how much learning time you have designed for
students, and shows this at the top, to compare with
the learning time you intended for this design; (ii) It
also creates a dynamic pie-chart showing the nature
of the overall learning experience youve created
using the duration you specified for each learning
activity. So you can see at a glance whether or not
this was the type of overall learning experience you
feel is appropriate.
Having reflected on your design, you can make adjustments in just a few clicks e.g.
change the type of learning and activity description or the amount of time on an
activity. This supports the well-established iterative reflective design approach used
by teachers from all areas of education.

Using technology effectively

The Learning Designer supports the effective use of technology in teaching and learning
by asking the teacher to consider what kind of learning is required. The learning type
identified gives an indication of which tool would be most appropriate to use. For
example, tools such as wikis or shared documents can be used to facilitate collaboration
and production, while forums or the comment function in blogs can facilitate discussion.

Sharing resources
The Learning Designer enables the teacher to attach links to Open Educational
Resources (OERs) anywhere on the web. For example, a presentation on SlideShare
could be attached to a Acquisition TLA; a curation tool could be attached to an
Investigation TLA; a worksheet on a shared drive could be attached to a Production TLA.
When learning designs have been created with the Learning Designer, they can be
uploaded to a user-generated directory of learning designs. You can, therefore, search
for and adapt existing designs to suit their context and discipline. The Learning Design

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directory allows teachers to share their best ideas with other teachers. In this way, it
helps build community knowledge in effective teaching practice.

Browsing designs
In the Browser screen you can browse through all the public designs, which are
categorised in a variety of ways.

Figure 1: the Browser Directory allows you to explore designs via alternative ways of
categorising them
You can also create your own categories by clicking on the + icon at the top.
You can then position your own designs into your public space, and also place them into
any categories you choose, as in Figures 2 and 3.

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Figure 2: Select the design you want to re-categorise by hovering over its title and
clicking the box on the right

Figure 3: By clicking on the bookmark icon at the top you can add your design to any
If you would like to receive a review of your design, you can place it in the category
Submitted designs Designs not yet reviewed.

Creating and adapting an existing design

In the Designer screen you can read through a design you have selected.
To create a new design click on New design to create a blank template.
Complete the descriptions at the top of the screen.
Add TLAs (teaching-learning activities) to generate a blank template for each section of
your design.
To adapt a design a design you have selected, Turn Editing On (button on the right).

Figure 4 shows how you can build and/or edit and adapt a design.

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Figure 4: ways to edit and adapt a learning design

Saving a design
When you click the Save button your design is saved to your Personal Space in the
To make it public, hover over the name of the design and click the box on the right; then
click the bookmark icon and a window opens to allow you to assign it to your public
space. See also Browsing designs.

Laurillard, D. (2012). Teaching as a Design Science: Building Pedagogical Patterns for
Learning and Technology. New York and London: Routledge.

London Knowledge Lab - Institute of Education 2013-2014