14–27 November

Introduction to Topic 4

For this topic we turn our point-of-view from participating in a learning environment into the processes of designing for learning. Learning design is a process that involves analyzing the learner, defining learning outcomes, creating learning activities, determining appropriate assessment methods, testing/implementing the design, and evaluating it. This standard procedure can be used in both face-to-face and online environments where the pedagogy is the foundation of the design and the technology is used to achieve an outcome.

Over this fortnight, we will consider different frameworks and current trends in learning design. First we consider Constructive Alignment (2013) in which the key feature is that the learning outcomes, the learning activities and the assessment must align in order to achieve the learning goals. Secondly, you will be introduced to two models for learning design: the ADDIE-model (ADDIE Model Instructional Strategies, 2011) and The Five Stage Model (Salmon, 2013). These models represent the generic components of a learning/instructional design process involving analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation. Then, for the scenario, you choose one of these frameworks on which to build your design. Finally, we reuse the Community of Inquiry framework from the last topic but with a focus on only the three categories of teaching presence – design, facilitation, and instructions (Vaughan, Cleveland-Innes & Garrison, 2013).

Activities for all learners

Discuss aspects of designing learning enviroments in your professional context with peers in the ONL G+ Community –  and comment on each other’s contributions!

Be sure to join this topic’s Tweetchat on November 17, 7-8pm (CET)! A Tweetchat or Twitter chat is  a synchronous discussion run through Twitter.

Webinar: November 28, 3-4pm (CET), there will be a webinar. During the webinar, you will be able to discuss questions in small groups and then present your ideas to the rest of the participants. See the event page!

Activity tracker: As we now are approaching the last topics of the ONL course, don’t forget to fill in and update your activity in the Activity tracker!

Learning blog – reflection:
Suggested themes for reflection in your learning blog.

Reflect on your current practice and identify how you can provide better support and scaffolding to students in online learning environments. Are there opportunities for further development in this area that you have now identified as a result of your own experiences as a learner in the ONL course and of your engagement in this topic? Comment and invite others to comment on your contribution.

PBL group work

For guidance on PBL group work including the FISh design please see Learning activities. Here is this topic’s scenario to consider in your PBL group.

Scenario:  “You are asked to design an online learning activity for new students at the university about what it means to study at higher education and how to successfully transition from secondary education into university studies. Your design should evidence the application of a theoretical framework in which the learning is scaffolded and aligned to the outcomes. Design elements that promote inquiry, collaboration and feedback are encouraged.”  [Note: You are free to change the subject matter into something else in this scenario]


Readings and resources


Bates, T (2016). The 10 Fundamentals of Teaching Online for Faculty and Instructors. PDF available hereConsider Guide 4 and 9 in particular for this topic.

Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness (2013, August 29). Constructive Alignment [Video file]. Retrieved from

jclarkgardner (2011, June 11) ADDIE Model Instructional Strategies [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL20E84CD77B301A20

Salmon, G (2013) The Five Stage Model. Retrieved 2016 November 8 from http://www.gillysalmon.com/five-stage-model.html

Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Edmonton: AU Press. Chapter 1 “Conceptual framework”. PDF available here

Further optional

About online pedagogy
McLoughlin,C.  Mark J. W. & Lee, M.J.W (2008). The Three P’s of Pedagogy for the Networked Society: Personalization, Participation, and Productivity. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20(1), 10-27. PDF available here

About Community of Inquiry
Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Edmonton: AU Press. PDF available here.

Other models/frameworks for learning design

Conole, G. (2015). The 7Cs of Learning Design. Manuscript. PDF available here.

Open Learning Design Studio’s MOOC (2013). Learning Design for a 21st Century Curriculum.  Retrieved 2016 November 8 from http://www.olds.ac.uk/

Lister, M (2014)  Trends in the Design of E-Learning and Online Learning. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching Vol. 10, No. 4, 671-680. PDF available here.

Additional Resources for Course designers

Morrison, D (2015)  Online Learning Insights, Resources for Course Designers available here.


ADDIE infographic available here.


Online open access tools to guide learning design



Further optional readings that are not open access

These two books are fundamental in the field design of learning field but are, however, not open access. They can likely be retrieved via your institution’s library.

About Constructive Alignment
Biggs, J. B. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Branch, R.M. (2010). Instructional Design: The ADDIE Approach. (1st.) Boston, MA: Springer US. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-09506-6.



By the end of this topic, you will have had the opportunity to

  • discuss possibilities and challenges in learning design;
  • create a learning opportunity using models for design of online and blended learning; and
  • reflect on learning design in your own practice.



twitter Tweetchat – 17 November 19.00–20.00 (CET)

webinar Webinar – 28 November 15.00–16.00 (CET)


Please check your local time: