Learning design is the practice of planning, sequencing and managing learning activities, usually using ICT-based tools to support both design and delivery (JISC 2011).
The Open University Learning Design Initiative (2012) set out to research, pilot and evaluate a rigorous learning design process, and identify what problems in curriculum design it is capable of solving. Lessons emerged include the following potential benefits of a learning design approach.
- It acts as a means of eliciting designs from academics in a format that can be tested and reviewed by others involved in the design process, i.e. a common vocabulary and understanding of learning activities.
- It provides a method by which designs can be reused, as opposed to just sharing content.
- It can guide individuals through the process of creating new learning activities.
- It helps create an audit trail of academic (and production) design decisions.
- It can highlight policy implications for staff development, resource allocation, quality, etc.
It has the potential to aid learners and tutors in complex activities by guiding them through the activity sequence.