Documenting learning environments and experiences

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Cameron, L 2007, 'Documenting learning environments and experiences', in RJ Atkinson, C McBeath, SKA Soong & C Cheers (eds.), Proceedings of ICT : Providing choices for learners and learning Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007, Singapore, 2-5 December, Centre for Educational Development, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, pp. 108-117. ISBN 9789810595784

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Peer Reviewed



At their best, ICTs can support knowledge construction, learning-by-doing, by conversing and by reflecting (Jonassen, 1999) but managing all this in a student-centred environment is a complex task that might be made more manageable by teachers sharing and re-using effective learning designs. Furthermore, if these designs were available in machinereadable format, educators would be able to select a learning design to suit their context “off the shelf” and plug-and-play it. A number of attempts are currently being made to comprehensively document learning designs that would allow educators to share successful, stimulating and engaging learning environments and experiences. IMS-LD, LAMS and the AUTC Learning Design Project are three developments where a comprehensive system is being produced that utilises a consistent data standard and vocabulary to describe the teaching and learning environment and the different theoretical approaches employed (Oliver & Littlejohn, 2006) and two of the three are machine-readable (INS-LD and LAMS). This paper provides a review of each of these methods of documenting learning designs and details the results of a study that demonstrated that a system that educators can use to comprehensively describe successful, stimulating and engaging learning designs so that they can be shared and re-used is still beyond the reach of the average pre-service teacher. However, all have features that illustrate that the dream of an easy-to-use, machine-readable and comprehensive learning design documentation system may not be too far away.