Beetham on Learning Design

H800 notes on Beetham 1

Beetham explains that ’emergence of Learning Design as a dominant paradigm can be taken as a sign that activity is being reinstated as the focus of concern. Design for learning should therefore focus primarily on the activities undertaken by learners, and only secondarily on (for example) the tools or materials that support them.’ (p26)

Beetham explains the difference between tasks and activities:

  • tasks – are those that are set by the teacher and/or curriculum
  • activities – are what the learner(s) engage in/does, in order to complete the set tasks. Beetham explains that ‘Although good teachers will provide direction as to how tasks should be carried out, and may scaffold learners’ activities quite rigidly, different learners will still have their own ways of proceeding.’ (p26)

She offers a definition for a learning activity (p.28) ‘as  a specific interaction of learner(s) with other(s) using specific tools and resources, orientated towards specific outcomes.’

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  1. Beetham, H. (2007) ‘An approach to learning activity design’, in Beetham, H. and Sharpe, R. (Eds) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age, Oxford: RoutledgeFalmer.

Learning Design

What is learning design and how does it differ from Learning Design?

Designing learning is a standard part of the teaching role. However, a more specific concept related to learning design and elearning arose from 2004 on – Learning Design (note the caps!). This refers to a formal specification used for designing online learning courses/materials.

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