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The 7Cs of Learning Design – a
new approach to rethinking
Slides by Gabi Witthaus, based on the paper
by Grainne Conole (Institute of Learning
Innovation, University of Leicester)
Networked Learning Conference:
7-9 April 2014, Edinburgh
Big shoes to fill…
Photos: Inset by Gabi Witthaus; shoes by Grainne Conole
What is learning design? (1)
Anonymous Account (CC-BY): https://www.flickr.com/photos/anonymouscollective/1899303123
What is learning design? (2)
Frank Weber (CC-BY): https://www.flickr.com/photos/frawemedia/5187769740
What is learning design? (3)
Sinisterbluebox (CC-BY) https://www.flickr.com/photos/10075621@N06/3810402230
A more participatory, social and
Flickr group: 1picaday
Blurring of boundaries
Do our VLEs make the most of all these
Now (typical online course in HE) The future?
Content generated by course designer/
VLE as content repository controlled by
teacher/ course designer
Collective aggregation of content
Blurring of boundaries?
Learning Design bridges the gap between the future
offered by technologies and existing limitations of our
Ewen Roberts (CC-BY): https://www.flickr.com/photos/donabelandewen/3584154214/
7Cs: born out of the marriage between
Rosmary (CC-BY): https://www.flickr.com/photos/rvoegtli/8495629904
Evaluation (from SPEED pilot)
• We made a big breakthrough. We have achieved insight about the need to
structure it as … an online course, and not just simply as a set of learning
activities plus integrated resources.
• The visual nature of the tools and the quick and easy way that one could
use it... They help stimulate us to look at the course in a different way, in a
natural and creative way even if we didn’t see all the little links right
• I wanted to have my thinking challenged with regard to course design and
development and I definitely left reflecting and questioning our unit's
current approach and have some good tools and approaches to pilot...
• It’s a way of freeing your mind and putting all the ideas of all the people in
the course team down somewhere, not having to be so prescriptive. It was
just a much freer and [more] creative experience than getting the learning
outcomes and writing them as active verbs, and getting in at a granular
level. It was quite sort of a liberating thing to just have everybody move
components around and say, ‘Do you know I really like all these features.
I’d like to do some problem-based learning. I’d like to do peer-review.’
The broader context:
The Larnaca Declaration (Dec 2013)
The broader context: Integrated
Learning Design Environment (ILDE)
• 7Cs – a new learning design framework.
• Involves a range of conceptual representations of courses
• The evaluation indicates that the framework is welcomed
and that the conceptual designs enable teachers to rethink
their design practice to create more engaging learning
interventions for their learners.
• The conceptual views can also be used with learners, to
give them an indication of the nature of the courses they
• We aim to continue to refine the elements of the
framework. In particular more work is needed around the
‘consider’ and ‘consolidate’ elements, including rubrics for
assessment and evaluation of the effectiveness of the
Many thanks to JISC for funding the OULDI,
Adelie (Carpe Diem) and SPEED projects, to the
EU for METIS funding and to the Australian
Office of Learning and Teaching for Professor
Dalziel’s fellowship, which enabled the
development of the Larnaca Declaration on