IMPLEMENTING LEARNING DESIGN: THE LEARNING
ACTIVITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (LAMS)
Macquarie E-learning Centre of Excellence (MELCOE)
Macquarie University, AUSTRALIA
Learning Design has the potential to revolutionise e-learning by capturing the
“process” of education, rather than simply content. By describing sequences of
collaborative learning activities, Learning Design offers a new approach to re-use
in e-learning. This paper describes the Learning Design approach, a detailed
example, and its implementation in the Learning Activity Management System.
Learning Design, Learning Activities, Pedagogical Frameworks, Standards, LAMS
E-learning has a well developed approach to the creation and sequencing of content-based, single learner,
self-paced learning objects. However, there is little understanding of how to create sequences of learning
activities which involve groups of learners interacting within a structured set of collaborative
environments, or how teachers can make these sequences easily re-usable.
Given that a key dimension of education (particularly K-12 schools and Higher Education) is learning
which arises from interacting with teachers and peers (rather than simply interacting with content), the
lack of a mature approach to sequencing of multi-learner activities is a significant blind spot in e-learning
today. This is surprising given that “lesson planning” – the process of determining the sequence of
activities to be followed by a teacher and students when studying a topic – is well understood in
education, but is mainly absent from e-learning. However, there is a growing body of work addressing
this topic, based on the concept of “Learning Design”. Learning Design provides a first glimpse at the
ways of describing multi-learner activity sequences and the tools required to support these.
Introducing Learning Design
Learning Design has emerged as one of the most significant recent