Learning Design Toolkit

How well do you know your learners?

VET learners are extremely diverse. It is important not to make assumptions about your student cohort or to assume that a new group will benefit from strategies and approaches used in the past.

However, research (in Kalantzis, Cope et al 2010) indicates that increasingly the learners of today:
  • are actively and purposefully engaged in their learning
  • belong in their learning, connecting their identity, subjectivity and agency into their learning.
  • bring their experience, interests and voice to the learning task at hand.
  • take responsibility for their learning through a measure of autonomy and self-control.
  • are knowledge producers, drawing upon a range of available knowledge resources.
  • work effectively in pairs or groups on collaborative knowledge projects, and create knowledge to be shared with peers.
  • continue to learn beyond the classroom, using the social media to learn anywhere and anytime—the phenomenon of ubiquitous learning.
  • are comfortable in multimodal, digital knowledge creation spaces, bringing together text, image, diagram, video, sound, dataset, instant messaging, etc.
  • critically self-assesses and reflect upon their learning.
  • use and give feedback in ‘social networking’ interactions, learning in recursive feedback loops involving peers, parents, experts and invited critical friends—as well as teachers.
  • engage in intensive horizontal communications and collaborative learning.
  • are comfortable players in environments where intelligence is collective—not just the sum of things that can be retained in the individual’s head, but a capacity to source specialised knowledge from experts or group members, to negotiate and synthesise knowledge in groups and to search and critically evaluate knowledge from a variety of online sources.

The interests, preferences and needs of your learners will influence the decisions you make in your learning design. Consider the elements of the mindmap below...