Thursday, 14 November 2013

Have you thought about Laurillard's Conversational Framework in yourTEL learning designs?

I recently attended the Heads of e-Learning Forum meeting at City University (

There were a number of presentation aimed at my role, however, one with a much wider audience was the keynote was by Prof Diana Laurillard. This covered a wide range of topics, and one which I had forgotten around the Conversational Framework. The presentation did make me reflect we are not using this within our effective learning design workshops.

To give a context, Laurillard proposes the business of effective education is based on a client relationship between the lecturer and the learner. This should be viewed more in the context of a personal trainer or solicitor, than a mass consumption approach.

However, this creates a point of tension within the learning design. How can we design a personal learning experience within increasing classes, especially as more learning is being undertaken online. The conversational framework can be used to help design appropriate learning activities which use appropriate tools.

I have included the slides, the conversational framework starts on Slide 7. The session was recorded and this should be released soon.

On a more practical perspective, for those who are working with objective testing for both summative and formative processes a discussion emerged around the concept of concealed MCQs. This flips the learning design of MCQs to make the student more active in the process. This is important as MCQs are often criticised for not making the learner work (think) hard enough.
Another useful resource for lecturers and staff developers was the Pedagogical Pattern Collector (

This (so the web site states) is an online tool that has been developed as part of the LDSE project. It provides (1) a 'Browser', for exploring a set of pedagogical patterns (lesson designs/learning designs) in their generic form, and also interpreted for 3 different discipline topics; (2) a 'Designer', for either creating or adapting a pedagogical pattern, which then analyses the overall nature of the learning experience you have created.

The Elevate Team will be exploring this resource over the next month.

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