This site has been developed for the delivery of the DMED H1029. It attempts to build on several learning theories and principles, rhizomatic learning theory, active learning, Peer/self-assessment and combines strategies specifically related to critical pedagogy I have learned from the works of Laura Gibbs, Zach Whalen, Jesse Stommel and others in addition to frameworks and modules based on the work of Gibbs, …

Laura Gibbs work revolves around making feedback the focus of learning and using the web as her classroom. Though her subject is creative writing the approaches and design of her module demonstrate how to become connected with learners in an online environment.

While researching the use of Slack I became aware of the work of Zach Whalen, though I had been designing my work in terms of missions, his module design influenced many of the features and provided support to carry on with my design.

In addition the work of Roland van Oostveen Fully Online Community Model

vanOostveen Fully ONline Learning Community Model

The dimensional structure of FOLC. Authored by Dr. Roland vanOostveen, UOIT, Canada.

Blayone, T., vanOostveen, R., Barber, W., DiGiuseppe, M., & Childs, E. (2017). Democratizing digital learning: Theorizing the Fully Online Learning Community model. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education14, 1–16.

Robert Hickey approach to creating an active learning environment

The concept of rhizomatic learning is partially informed by the work of post-structuralist French thinkers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Their seminal work, A Thousand Plateaus, introduced rhizomatic thinking as a new way of making sense of knowledge and contrasted this with arbolic thinking which, they argue, has a tree-like hierarchical structure, inflexible linear pathways and encourages binary thinking. Deleuze and Guattari used the metaphor of the rhizome, which sends out roots in multiple directions, continuously spreading and self-replicating in a ‘nomadic’ style, to reconceptualise sense-making. As a theory, which implicitly questions established power structures and social organisation, it has existed on the fringe of academic discourse and used largely in research to suggest alternative perspectives across a range of fields from geophilosophy to healthcare education (Gough 2005; Holmes and Gastaldo, 2004).

An early example of this would have been

Module Creation Specifications

Step 1: Course participants will initially establish a readiness profile, using a number of survey tools on the GREx platform (vanOostveen, Childs, DiGiuseppe, Barber & Desjardins, 2019) as a baseline against which to measure skill development. Building upon an existing infrastructure provided within the EILab, the GREx platform provides a variety of integrated technological tools designed to give individuals and institutions the means to construct complex profiles that can be used to identify gaps in competency attainment and development. In addition to providing a series of visualizations regarding competence and readiness allowing for reflective contemplation. The tools on the GREx platform utilize an algorithm which when applied to the survey data from the participant allows for a determination of task complexity level that will be provided for course participants. The rationale on baselining learner’s readiness is to allow the materials to be tailored (personalised) to the individual, allowing the programme to meet the learner’s specific needs. The GREx readiness profile will be used to place participants into heterogeneous groupings (of 3 participants or triads) based on the results of the competence determinants. See Appendix A for more details regarding Step 1 and 2.

Step 2: The heterogeneous groupings will be structured in a similar way to those identified by the Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR) (University of Central Oklahoma, 2017)

    • Exposure: The student displays a willingness to learn and grow by participating in the activity.
    • Integration: The student can clearly articulate an understanding of the learning activity and is questioning, planning, or beginning to expand upon previously held understandings of self, community, behaviour or environment.
    • Transformation: The student provides strong evidence of a learning experience that resulted in profound growth or a major shift in values, beliefs or perspectives. 

Step 3: In each of the STLR grouping or Skill Challenges, a series of structured tasks are provided to participants. The tasks are situated around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) (United Nations, 2020) as a context within which to develop each of the skills/competencies. The SDG’s have been selected as they present current opportunities to address.

    • Relevant current global concerns
    • Motivational real-world problems, and
    • Socially and environmentally engaged learning which aids in the development of strong values in equity, diversity and inclusion

Step 4: In order to facilitate flexibility within the modules, each Skill Challenge will have 3 stages; commit, connect, and create.  The “commit” stage provides an opportunity for a learner to review the available challenges, and select one to work on. During the following “connect” stage learners engage with the task by completing the recommended reading and attempting the recommended tasks. Learners will engage both individually and in their triads. For the final stage, learners will complete their selected task, normally at this stage, an artefact will be developed “created” and then shared with a wider audience.

Participants who are able to display significant skill development at their level will be awarded a digital badge for that skill. These tasks will also be created and graduated, based on Watts (1991) work on the science of problem-solving. He identified three graduations: given, goal, and own. In a “given” problem, learners are presented with as part of the task instructions on the process, how to complete the task and also the product what constitutes successful completion of the task. In a “goal” task, learners are presented with an identified problem with a final product identified, they determine the process for completing the task. In the “own” type task learners are presented with a problem and must select both the process for carrying out the task in addition to determining a suitable end product.

Tools for missions

From the Transform EDU Project TU Dublin

A living lab is a platform for innovation, applied to the development of new products, systems, services, and processes in an urban area; employing working methods to integrate people into the entire development process as users and co-creators to explore, examine, experiment, test and evaluate new ideas, scenarios, processes, systems, concepts and creative solutions in complex and everyday contexts20.

A Living Lab functions on collaborative experiments and learning that integrate users and stakeholders as co-producers of the underpinning knowledge. Such can provide a viable system for enhancing learners’ employment and employability credentials.

20 JPI Urban Europe. 2018. Urban Living Labs by JPI Urban Europe:. Available at: [accessed 21/08/2018].

Urban Living Labs: A Living Lab Way of Working – Scientific Figure on ResearchGate. Available from: [accessed 29 Oct, 2019]

The studio is a key feature in almost all design education (Kvan, 2001; Higgins et al., 2009). It emerged from the beaux-arts traditions of Europe in response to a need to expand and systematise professional design education, principally architecture (Cuff, 1992).  It can be seen a signature pedagogy in the teaching design related subjects because it provides a community of practice and a community of enquiry through emergent activity, peer-to-peer and tutor learning (Jones et al., 2019). For a variety of reasons (room availability, lecturer expertise and availability, access to industry experts and modularisation), academic institutions have investigated the use of virtual design studios with mixed success. Blended learning has not yet been fully explored and exploited in design education (Pektas 2012). The professional practice of creative industries is reliant on agile and interdisciplinary networks, whereas design education can all too often default to the closed culture of one institution without the stimulus of government initiatives. A virtual design studio that is networked across multiple institutions not only affects the educational experience but could set a new framework for design practice as well (Jones et al., 2019). In the Innovating Pedagogy Report 2019 its authors highlighted the potential of virtual design studios and their impact on pedagogical practice. It is proposed that this collaboration between TU Dublin and Maynooth University’s Design Innovation Department would develop an approach to demonstrate the potential of Virtual Design Studios by designing and delivering them across a series of modules during semester 1 2020.

From a pedagogy perspective, the studio will approach in hybrid model of both working with and around design with a particular focus on the design process. Kvan (2001) framework highlights this, he encourages educators to focus on a design process that encourages students to review and evaluate their learning process, while shaping their own preferences. Both students and tutors actively construct knowledge through dynamic interactions (Jones et al., 2019). Broadfoot and Bennett (2003, pp. 9-10) sets out the devised criteria for both traditional and contemporary design studio settings: learning by doing; one-to-one dialogue for tacit knowledge experience; a collaborative context for building relationships; and a focus on the process throughout design practice, each of these will be addressed in the development of the solution.

From a technical approach, its purpose will to harness tools that will allow to replication of the iterative design process, primarily the social constructivist element utilised in design studios in industry. As Pektas (2015) states a virtual design studio may be seen as “rehearsal of future workplaces and help prepare students for global, networked, and competitive professional design practice.” A main component of the proposed design studio includes a large selection of creative briefs developed in conjunction with industry. 

Shaun Ferns & Iain Macdonald 2019

To Look at Further

Institution: Deakin University

xAPI – WordPress – LSR

xAPI and LSR to look at:

Task Ideas – time management

Twitter Tasks

Think, Build, Grow Coventry Learn

Check out Coventry.Domains Learn for yourself here:

This site is built with Alan Levine‘s SPLOTpoint. It’s WordPress and Powerpoint in one groovy package. You can get this as a theme from


‘Students experienced profound disappointment and an even greater sense of having wasted their time when their diligently crafted, mandatory posts, received no commentary or replies from either teacher or other students.’




Cool week 1 task