Scoping Project

The learning design scoping project (March 2015 to September 2015) recommended developing reusable and collaborative learning design as a new University service within Information Services (IS), which positions the learning design framework as a scaffold, the support staff as facilitators, and the academic staff as learning designers, with an active community of practice and a clear positive impact on key University drivers. Most importantly, the recommended learning design process will prioritise the design of student learning experiences over the development of content (as Mor and Craft, 2012, highlighted). The facilitators will be trained and located within Information Services, Institute of Academic Development (IAD), and locally within Schools.

In the scoping project, the top 3 learning design frameworks in the UK were identified, with a view to the Edinburgh service being developed from one of these frameworks. As such, an evaluation process was recommended and carried out (October 2015 to January 2016).

Evaluation Project

Information Services’ Innovation Funds were secured in October 2015 to evaluate the leading three learning design frameworks in the UK through active use with teaching programmes, to collaboratively select the best fit for development at Edinburgh, with the overall goal of adapting the most suitable into an Edinburgh-specific learning design framework.

The University of Northampton-based CAIeRO framework (which is CC-NC-SA licensed) was chosen by academics and support staff as the best fit. The focus on designing of learning experiences over development of content; the structured format of the two day workshop, with ability to adapt based on each course design team, providing consistency and flexibility; and the ability to use CAIeRO for on campus and online development, programme development, and different levels of courses (UG and PG, for example) were the key reasons for CAIeRO being selected. In line with the findings of Mor and Craft, 2012, the CAIeRO framework expertly combines the following domains – subject knowledge, pedagogical theory, technological know-how and practical experience - while also allowing for innovation in all of these domains.

ELDeR development

Funding was secured in October 2015 from the digital education task group (as part of the Learning and Teaching Committee) to adapt and develop the chosen CAIeRO framework into a University of Edinburgh framework for learning design. This specific part of the project runs from February 2016 to June 2016 and allows for the Learning Design team to develop the Edinburgh framework and to facilitate 3 learning design workshops with online courses. The framework will be evaluated and adjusted across each workshop, with the aim of having a more finalised framework by the end of the third workshop which will then be launched as a Learning Design Service. Training for facilitators across the University, specifically within IS, IAD and locally within schools, will also take place within this timeframe.

ELDeR workshops will be run over two days, with the first day focusing on stage 1: the course blueprint (mission, learning outcomes, assessment and feedback) and stage 2: storyboarding and the second day focusing on stage 3: rapid prototyping in the VLE of some learning activities within the storyboard, stage 4: critical friend evaluation of VLE prototype, stage 5: adjust and review from feedback, stage 6: creating an action plan, and stage 7: reflecting on the workshop in relation to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) model for HEA accreditation.

The response we have had from colleagues throughout the University has been very encouraging, and indicates a state of readiness for a learning design service.

This project focuses specifically on the development and implementation of the ELDeR service within IS and the University.



Project Info

Learning Design Service: Development and Implementation
ISG - Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)
Project Manager
Fiona Hale
Project Sponsor
Melissa Highton
Current Stage
Not Started
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
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