Facilitating social learning through learning design

A perspective of collaborative academic development


  • Chie Adachi
  • Julia Savage
  • Marcus O'Donnell




social learning, learning design, academic development


In the field of technology-enhanced learning design, the rise of Web 2.0 has been the filip needed to accelerate the emergence of socially-connected global learners. These highly social learners now use the web to engage with knowledge and skill development and as such, online education has moved irrevocably beyond simply the finding and sharing of information among learners. The higher education sector is responding to this learning landscape. This is particularly relevant to the massive open online courses (MOOCs) environment where there is the potential for thousands of participants to learn through multiple open source tools with minimum intervention from educators. This social learning perspective can present a challenge for some educators. In this paper we present a work-in-progress collaborative project designed to respond to the professional development of teaching academics newly engaged in designing and teaching from a social learning perspective. We, in a central learning and teaching unit, designed and developed a professional development (PD) course that sought to build the capacity of academics going through this change: they were about to teach on a MOOC platform. Our purpose was to model the social learning framework as a method of capacity-building, but we also aimed to distil authentic social learning for the academics themselves. This resulted in creating a community of practice among educators. Further research is required to measure the impact of this capacity-building course in order to further enhance the learning experiences of academics preparing to teach on a MOOC platform.






ASCILITE Conference - Concise Papers