Pedagogy planners – where next?

A meeting was held on 4th March to get some ‘real world’ input into how the development on the two pedagogy planning tools in the current JISC Design for Learning programme should progress.

The audience was made up mainly of teaching practitioners, most of whom have an interest in staff development and e-learning. Introducing the day, Helen Beetham (consultant to the JISC e-Learning programme) outlined some of the challenges around the changing economic, technical and pedagogical issues that face the teaching and learning community today. The role of planning teaching and learning is becoming of increasing importance as is the recognition of the need to share and represent practice. Although technology offers tantalising visions for the potential of shared learning design practice, the tools we have available at the moment still seem to fall short of the vision. Very few (if any) tools can capture and delivery the myriad of teaching practice that exist. So, is it time to start thinking about a set of teacher tools and services instead of trying to develop more one size fits all tools?

During the day participants had a the opportunity to have “hands-on” time with both Phoebe and the London Pedagogy Planner (LPP). Grainne Conole (0U) has already written about the day and reviews of Phoebe and LPP. The projects then presented their vision of how someone could use Phoebe to create an initial design, look for case studies and exemplars and then export that design into LLP and start ‘fleshing’ out the plan with actual teaching contact time etc.

While both prototypes offer a different (but complementary) approach to planning, they are both very much at the prototype stage. A key question that keeps arising is what is it that they actually produce? XML output allows a level of interoperability between the two just now but this needs to be extended much further so that there is a useful output which can relate to other institutional systems such as VLEs, CMS etc – “where’s the export to moodle” button was heard a few times during the day:-) During the feedback sessions it was clear exporting and importing data between systems will be crucial if such tools are to have any chance of having take up in institutions.

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