Designing a next generation digital learning environment for higher education

Current thinking in learning design, Featured, Flexible learning, LMS, MOOCs, Open education resources, Project types, Solution development 4 Comments

Habitat change

This presentation was given at the RMIT University Learning and Teaching Conference 2016 held on the 24th and 25th of October in Melbourne.

The presentation describes some of the key concepts involved in designing and creating a next generation digital learning environment.

Once you start the video you can navigate the interactive transcript below to skip to the parts that you think might be vaguely interesting.

Please feel free to add your thoughts and comments below.

Feature image licensed CC BY-SA 2.0 by Hernán Piñera

4 Comments on “Designing a next generation digital learning environment for higher education”

  1. Thanks Mark – a really intelligent and interesting presentation. The transcript works well and I found I was engaging in both the text and the audio. I think it will be worth adding this feature to our art lectures for the portal. I’m interested in this idea of the ‘habitat’. I think it is worth expanding on this idea in the all the other learning contexts ie studio habitat, work-based habitat, lecture habitat, tutorial habitat etc. I know there is already a lot of work done in these areas but the notion of a habitat is somehow an egalitarian concept that might work well as an over arching concept and lead us more directly into andragogy and heutagogy as you suggest needs to happen

    1. Hi Angela,

      Thank you for your comment and I agree with your ideas about extending the notion of habitat. The key work here is Wenger, Etienne, Nancy White, and John D. Smith. Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities. CPsquare, 2009. It’s informing a lot of our thinking at the moment, particularly around creating learning spaces at program, domain or discipline level.

      Glad the interactive transcript worked for you. It’s still experimental and we’re testing it on various devices to see how well it works.



  2. In the beginning, you qualified that this is for the university context. However, you draw on learning theories and practices that are largely found, but poorly understood, outside the university context. I suppose my comment is that your qualification isn’t necessary. I wonder if your work would go further if the focus was on how learning happens outside the university context, so that you’re designing something that tries to enhance that learning, and looking for ways to dissolve the boundaries between university learning and normal learning. It might seem like a minor distinction, but I think the inversion is helpful, to avoid the many pitfalls of the managed, behaviourist, learning priorities of the institutional context.

    1. Thanks for the comment Leigh. I think you’re right but the audience for this presentation was academics and teachers within a dual sector university and I wanted it to be clear to them that the thinking that had been done around this was primarily around how they could work in a better digital learning environment. I think it would be good to re-conceptualise these thoughts with a non institutional context in mind.

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