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Learning designs and the development of study skills: reuse and community perspectives

By Simon Walker and Elizabeth Masterman


This paper takes as its starting-point the role of reusable learning designs and of practitioner communities in disseminating effective pedagogic practice. The authors note the findings of previous research indicating a gap between teachers’ stated intention to reuse others’ materials and the practicalities of reuse, and comment on the shortcomings of both Wenger’s communities of practice and Hung and Nichani’s quasi-communities as models of the types of community that might foster the reuse of learning designs. They suggest that another model is needed to address the ‘scaffolding’ of teachers into the practice of sharing. To explore both themes, the authors then present an investigation into the reusability of learning designs. This was set in the context of a regional initiative, within the London Borough of Greenwich, to support students’ development of study skills through blended learning. Questions raised by the findings include the cost-benefits of adaptation versus creation of one’s own learning designs, and the reusability of designs created ‘in the abstract.’ The authors conclude by introducing the CAMEL model of collaboration as a potential means to overcome the discrepancy between the theory and reality of reuse through establishing relationships of trust mediated by both online and faceto-face communication

Topics: LB
Publisher: LAMS Foundation
Year: 2006
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