Welcome to topic 6 – Designing Learning Environments

Dear friends,

We hope you are all well! The month of May for many of us stand out as a period when there is too much of everything – work, events and pollen. However, the final day of this course is a mere two weeks away and we hope you will enjoy the sense of community while you toil along!

Last week was all about openness in education and we have seen interesting and fruitful discussions going on in the groups and in the main G+ community. We hope you have watched the webcast with Kes McCormick about MOOCs and taken part in the discussion.

Today is the start of the sixth topic, Designing Learning Environments. In all forms of education, on and off campus, support is a vital part of the provision. In campus courses we have a tradition, a routine (which may be good or bad) for how students are supported, and since we are around each other at least some of the time, getting and staying in touch with each other is a pretty straightforward business. In online course settings it is easy to feel lost or confused from the start and it is not always self-evident where to go for help, which is why design matters enormously and support for learners needs to be available in multifarious forms. This topic is for discussing and reflecting around what constitutes good support and well-designed learning environments. At this point, we would like to encourage you all to go to the Padlet page of blog addresses and read some blog posts that you haven’t looked at before, and also to comment on them! There are so many interesting reflective posts!

Please share your personal experiences regarding different aspects of design to support learning and explore together effective support strategies that do or could work in your professional context.

Have a great week!

The ONL team

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