OLDS MOOC Learning Design for a 21st Century Curriculum

OLDS MOOC   is due to start in January 2013.

The course has been funded by JISC as part of a benefits realisation programme and is intended to build on the success of the Open University Learning Design Initiative (OULDI) and other JISC funded curriculum design and delivery projects.

I am struck by how very prescriptive this MOOC seems to be – a far cry from CCK08, for example.

On the page about how OLDS MOOC works and where it is described as ‘semi-structured’  even ‘Your Space’ appears to be prescribed and on this page where Week 1 is described , we are told that…

During this week, committed participants will also initiate their own learning or curriculum design project in their domain of practice.

…. and then given activities  for each day.


You can complete this MOOC on your own, but we believe your experience will be much more fruitful if you have some friends for the journey. We strongly encourage you to form a local study circle. This could be based on your project team, a group of participants in your institution, or participants you identify as having similar interests or living nearby. You can use services such as http://www.meetup.com/ to set up your local study circle. Please list your circle at: http://cloudworks.ac.uk/cloudscape/view/2456 (or join an existing one).

The course  is structured to reflect a proposed process for design, and combines a number of design thinking methodologies (see http://www.ld-grid.org/resources/methods-and-methodologies/ideo-toolkit and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_thinking), inquiry learning (see http://www.pi-project.ac.uk/) and educational design research (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design-based_research).

My interest in Learning Design for a 21st Century Curriculum is from the perspective of ‘open’ learning environments and emergent learning (see Publications on Emergent Learning).

The question for me in relation to what I have read so far about OLDS MOOC is just how much prescription is needed to facilitate emergent learning, or indeed, any learning.