Ms Lee Siang Hwee, Assistant Director, Learning Design and Development for further queries.)
(i) What is learning design?
Learning Design is applying what we know about how people learn to create learning activities that lead learners to achieve the desired learning outcomes. Learning Design is both an art and a science. The Science of Learning Design is based on knowledge of research and proven theories in education. As an art, Learning Design takes into consideration the complexities and fluidity of human nature and the environment, including culture, corporate visions and government.
The impact of good learning design is instantly felt. Often working intuitively or with tacit knowledge, the expert teacher can produce counter examples to illustrate a complex concept; he/she makes use of formative assessment at the appropriate point in a long chain of augmentation to anchor a critical perception in a student’s mind; instructions for a hands-on activities are aptly crafted to make the learning experience a very fruitful one.
(ii) Methodology: Online learning design process
The team uses the Flipped Classroom approach as its base Learning Design strategy and the Analyse, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate (ADDIE) model for the design and development process.
We use the Flipped Classroom as our base Learning Design strategy, and will synthesise other strategies to augment the Flipped Classroom where necessary.
In the Flipped Classroom approach, students begin by reading or watching lecture videos to obtain fundamental knowledge and concepts required for the course. These materials are typically hosted online and interspersed with online formative assessments. Face-to-face sessions are used to clarify what students have already learned on their own, introduce advanced materials and concepts, and conduct application exercises to prepare them for real-world situations.
We take careful consideration how the online and face-to-face sessions can interact synergistically to multiply the benefits of both activities.
It is through this Flipped Classroom approach that we aim to develop industry-ready graduates who are not only competent in the subject matter but also in creative thinking, and working collaboratively with others to solve problems.
We use the ADDIE model to manage the design and development process. Below is a short description of the model.
Analysis: Analyse the profiles of the learners, and faculty, the new desired learning outcomes, constraints, materials and tools available, content/subject type, pedagogical considerations, learning theories that apply and timeline, just to name a few.
Design: Develop learning objectives and strategies, draw up lesson plans, and conduct material/tool selection. These are captured in design documents and involve creating prototypes.
Development: Whilst the Analysis and Design phases rely heavily on the Learning Designer and the Faculty, the Development phase relies heavily on various technologists. For example, Multimedia Developers will develop any animation or graphics required and a videographer will shoot and edit videos. During Development, the Learning Designer and Faculty are still very much involved in the development phase to ensure content accuracy and pedagogical soundness.
Implementation: In this phase, all development works are consolidated according to the design, and all the loose ends tied up. Editorial checks are conducted, along with another round of vetting for content accuracy.
Evaluation: This consists of formative and summative evaluations. Formative evaluations are conducted in every phase to check that every step and every piece of work contributes to sound pedagogy. Problems are arrested early while things can still be changed. A summative evaluation is conducted after project completion to capture lessons learned and foster improvement with subsequent projects.
(iii) Scalable learning design
Templates for scalable learning design enable faculty to jump-start their course development with the appropriate teaching methodologies and educational technologies. The templates provide models for good online teaching practices to engage students in their learning activities.
The templates include:
- NTULearn course templates featuring different teaching styles
- LAMS (Learning Activities Management System) learning sequences for self-directed, self-paced learning
- AcuConference video conferencing sessions for distance interactive live presentation and discussion
- Assignment and assessment tools to measure achievement and learning outcomes
The templates are available in the sample course sites in the NTULearn System. Guidelines and how-to on using these templates are provided at Templates tab in the NTULearn System. These resources:
- showcase the course sites/templates to illustrate the different teaching styles, learning sequence, video conference sessions and assignment/assessment tools available in the system;
- guide you through the process of setting up your course site using the templates provided;
- provide resources on good teaching and learning principles and practices.