A paper due to be published in a special issue of the British Journal of Educational Technology on Learning Design in November 2018 shows how digital technology can support teachers by enabling collaboration.
The paper, co-authored by CGHE researchers Professor Diana Laurillard and Dr Eileen Kennedy from the UCL Institute of Education, assesses the potential of a new digital tool to develop and support a knowledge-building teaching professional community. The tool, called the Learning Designer, aims to help teachers design effective teaching methods by sharing pedagogic ideas and knowledge.
Teaching knowledge cannot be reduced to a set of guidelines or captured on video by ‘expert teachers’, the researchers point out. The Learning Designer promises an online, international system that draws on the insights and experiments of teachers testing innovations in multiple local contexts. This enables teachers to share teaching ideas across disciplines and understand how generic teaching ideas can be customised.
The researchers assessed the tool’s effectiveness through a number of international online events and a series of MOOCs. They found a high level of acceptance by teachers around the world and across all sectors, indicating a strong desire from teachers to be part of a professional collaborative community.
The next stage of the researchers’ project will be to develop the tool’s capacity to support peer review and collaboration on developing designs. They plan to integrate the tool with virtual learning environments and will also investigate its impact on learners.
The Learning Designer tool is free to use for all teachers and is available at learningdesigner.org