The use of a visual learning design representation to support the design process of teaching in higher education

Shirley Agostinho


Over the last decade there has been considerable research and development work exploring how university teachers can document their teaching practice in such a way as to enable the sharing of ideas. The premise of this research work, referred to in the literature as learning designs, is if pedagogical practice can be documented in some readily understandable form, it can then be easily shared and thus there is the potential for greater uptake of innovative teaching practice. This paper presents findings from a research project that examined how educational designers and teaching academics used a visual learning design representation to document their teaching practice and how this representation supported their design process. Six educational designers, three university teachers, and two PhD students (whose doctorates were focused on learning design) were interviewed and the main finding was that the visual representation served as an aid to design because it provided a summary of pedagogical practice that could be used to effectively communicate and share ideas, and also enable reflection. The paper concludes by suggesting future research directions.

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