The London Pedagogy Planner is intended as “a collaborative online planning and design tool that supports lecturers in developing, analysing and sharing learning designs.” – arguably an area that requires some serious attention. However, as it stands I would be surprised if any teachers actually use it. On downloading and unzipping the compressed file users are then have to open the ReadMe.text to discover that the planner is launched by opening lpp.jar A bit of thought about making this a foolproof process would have been effort well spent.
Pressing on, I am faced with a set of fields to fill in (a bit like a spreadsheet) that use typical HE descriptions of modules (“Properties”). For some reason, I couldn’t fill in “start date, number of staff, duration”.
Next I used the planning grid to allocate time against different teaching methods which then generates suggested breakdown of ‘learning experience’ – personally I think that learning activities would be a better label – who can tell what the experience will be?
Lastly I tried the “Allocate” tab where it appears that learning outcomes are mapped against topics, but none of the fields were available for me to edit, not sure why.
Beyond the problematic interface and unfriendly installation process and remembering it is a prototype there are several keyissues:
- can subject teachers be persuaded that the learning and teaching approaches are relevant enough to their discipline to warrant the considerable effort required to use the tool;
- the field labels and descriptors don’t adequately reflect the range of learning and teaching practice. For example, in work-based learning (the field I work in) I would say that inquiry is a “teaching method” not a “learning experience”. Also, what about ‘action learning sets’ or “Patchwork Text” for collaborative learning and formative assessment? The list is endless, and creative teachers will be constantly adding to it…;
- arguably, in trying to ‘atomise’ the description of learning and teaching (precise allocation of effort against topics, outcomes, teaching methods, learner experience) in support of a particular interpretation of “Learning Design”, in any practical or usable sense, all meaning is lost.