How learning development and learning design can inform each other: reflections and discussion points
Keywords:design thinking, learner-centred design, third-space, partnerships
Learning Development and Learning Design have contributed to the transformation of higher education (HE) over recent decades, in the move towards a learner-centred approach in HE. While Learning Design is still somewhat ill-defined and emergent, practice has quickly gained traction since the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is now generally well embedded into academic training and institutional terminology (JISC, 2022). What does the intersection of these two ‘learning’ fields look like, and how could existing collaboration be strengthened for the benefit of learners? This poster aimed to promote discussion on the topic.
The poster briefly summarises the history of Learning Design and explores commonalities in the two fields such as an interest in universal design, a focus on empathy, inclusivity, and active learning approaches.
Then it explores the limits of Learning Design and gives examples of ways in which the author’s practice as a Learning Designer is strongly influenced by Learning Development. In particular, it discusses how Learning Development values, as laid out by ALDinHE provide a grounding for the author, and how the substantial body of work in Academic Literacies (Lillis, 2019) provides a critical framing for working with academic teams when exploring issues of belonging, identity and student learning within Learning Design.
Finally, it explores how roles intersect, how practitioners from the two fields do (and could) work together, for example, to collectively deepen understanding about the learning experience and improve co-creation with students. It also outlines what adopting a strong ‘design’ approach could offer the Learning Development community.
Fallin, L. (2022) The Double Diamond: Fixing Higher Education Challenges. Available at: https://leefallin.co.uk/2022/08/the-double-diamond-fixing-higher-education-challenges-with-human-centered-design/ (Accessed: 14 August 2023).
JISC (2022) Approaches to curriculum and learning design across UK higher education. Report: November 2022. Available at: https://beta.jisc.ac.uk/reports/approaches-to-curriculum-and-learning-design-across-uk-higher-education (Accessed: 14 August 2023).
Lillis, T. (2019) ‘“Academic literacies”: sustaining a critical space on writing in academia’, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, Issue 15, November, pp.1-18. https://doi.org/10.47408/jldhe.v0i15.565.
The Design Council (n.d.) Framework for Innovation - Design Council. Available at: https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/our-resources/framework-for-innovation/ (Accessed: 14 August 2023).
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