This course will run between January 10th and March 13th 2013. It is free for all participants but you will first need to register.
Study weeks start on a Thursday to allow those who cannot devote time during work days to participate over the weekend. The MOOC takes an active and collaborative approach to learning. Facilitators will provide resources and guidance, and participants are invited to critically engage with and add to these, and use them to create design artifacts that they will share and discuss with others. Committed participants will work individually or in groups on a learning/ curriculum design project that they will initiate and define. Additionally these participants will associate themselves with a study group, with which they will work throughout the MOOC. These groups will act as the primary learning support mechanism.

The course is structured to reflect a proposed process for design, and combines a number of design thinking methodologies (see and, inquiry learning (see and educational design research (see

OLDS MOOC study planner

10 Jan 2013
In this first week we will establish a definition of learning design and identify how it relates to other  fields of educational research. We will explore the links and distinctions between Curriculum Design, Learning Design, Instructional Design, and Educational Design Research, and begin to identify some of the grand challenges of using a learning design approach to the design of learning in the 21st century. During this week, committed participants will also initiate their own learning or curriculum design project in their domain of practice. This project will provide  an opportunity to apply and use the principles, representations and methodologies that they encounter through the MOOC. Go to week 1...
17 Jan 2013
This week considers ways of understanding, describing and using context in learning design. We will demonstrate how context can be modelled as an ecology of resources (potentially available to help learners) and filters (that constrain interactions with these) (Luckin, 2010). We will also use personas (Nielsen, 2007), scenarios and force maps (Mor, 2013) to investigate contextual aspects of design challenges. Participants will reflect on these approaches and select one or more to apply in their own design challenges. Go to week 2...
24 Jan 2013
This week introduces the notion of visual representations and their value in enabling design thinking, discourse and sharing. There will be opportunities to experiment with collaborative sketching and story boarding, and to trial and critique a range of curriculum design tools such as the OULDI feature cards, pedagogy profile and course map and the Viewpoints cards. Go to week 3...
31 Jan 2013
This week we assume that the 'teacher-designer' (Peter Goodyear's term - a good way to think of teachers) knows roughly what the conceptual focus is. The 'Connect' concept is similar to what in one recent project became known as 'BOTWOO' - building on the work of others. Not an elegant acronym, but strangely memorable. This is what we all do as researchers, but do much less as teachers. It has not been easy to to so. Even the OER (Open Educational Resources) movement is still struggling to make this idea catch on among teachers, although it's been around for a while. But the idea is to start not with the content as the object of reusable design knowledge, but the teaching pattern (or pedagogical pattern, or learning pattern). We will be looking at ways of tackling that issue, with practical activities to illustrate how it might be done. Go to week 4...
7 Feb 2013
This week we go from design idea - the sketch - to the first stage of implementation - the prototype. Not the final product, but enough to clarify the functionality and basic technical issue for meeting the user requirements. Go to week 5...
14 Feb 2013
This week introduces the principle of the open licensing of online content and the relevance of Open Educational Resources to Curriculum and Learning Design. We will investigate methods of finding and identifying OER and the many ways they can be incorporated into designs. There will be opportunities to create and upload your own OER and to 'remix' OER created by others. Go to week 6...
21 Feb 2013
Evaluation of learning designs is critically important. Around the world, each month sees the introduction of numerous commercially produced or locally developed learning designs, OERs, and other learning events promoted as engaging, effective, and efficient. Yet systematic evaluation of these is often lacking and evidence for their efficacy is weak. To conduct a useful evaluation of learning designs requires a "triangulation" approach whereby multiple strategies and tools are applied. This week is specifically designed to establish evaluation as a key strategy throughout the learning design process. Go to week 7...
28 Feb 2013
This week we will step back and reflect on the concepts discussed so far and consider the wider perspective, including the theoretical underpinnings of learning design. The origins of learning design as a research field can be traced back to the late nineties. Rop Koper and colleagues at the Open University of the Netherlands developed an Educational Modelling Langage and from this an IMS specification for learning design ( Go to week 8...
7 Mar 2013
 This final week will provide opportunities to review your learning and plan any next steps in developing your curriculum and learning design practice. It will be a show and tell week, in which projects which have developed during the course will be selected by the OLDS MOOC community for review, details to follow.
Go to week 9...