Call for Papers: Designing for learning


The 27th edition of eLearning Papers will focus on Designing for learning. How can teachers develop new approaches to the design of learning activities and whole curricula that takes account of the new complex, technologically enhanced learning contexts?
Published five times a year, the eLearning Papers journal aims to make innovative ideas and practices in the field of learning more visible by highlighting different perspectives involving the use of digital technologies. eLearning Papers publication is part of European Commission\’s portal,

New open, social and participatory media clearly have significant potential to transform learning and teaching. The emergence of these technologies has shifted practice on the Internet away from passive, information provision to active, user engagement. They offer learners and teachers a plethora of ways to communicate and collaborate; to connect with a distributed network of peers, and to find and manipulate information. In addition there are now a significant range of free educational resources and tools. However despite this, technologies are still only used marginally in an educational context. Learners and teachers lack the necessary digital literacy skills to harness these new technologies.

This new learning context raises some thought-provoking issues. In a world where content and services are increasingly free, what is the role of formal education? What new teaching approaches and assessment methods are needed? How can we provide effective learning pathways to guide learners through the multitude of educational offerings now available? How can teachers develop new approaches to the design of learning activities and whole curricula that takes account of this new complex, technologically enhanced context? What assessment strategies are appropriate?

Falconer and Littlejohn (2008, p. 20) argue that there are three challenges facing teachers: i) the increasing size and diversity of the student body, ii) the increasing requirement for quality assurance, and iii) the rapid pace of technological change. Conole (2004) has argued that there is a gap between the promise and reality of the use of technology in education and that there is little evidence that education has changed fundamentally. Much use of technology appears to simply replicate bad classroom practice resulting in simple Web page turning (Oliver, 2000). Similarly Masterman (2008a, p.210) argues that the lack of uptake of technologies is due to a number of factors: lack of awareness of the possibilities, technophobia, lack of time to explore the use of technologies, aversion to the risks inherent in experimentation and fear of being supplanted by the computer. Agostinho et al. (2008: 381) suggest that the uptake of the use of high-quality ICT-based learning designs in higher education has been slow. Factors include: low levels of dissemination of ICT-based learning projects, lack of ICT-based learning examples to model, lack of time, support and training. Sawyer (2006, p. 8) argues that the impact of the significant investment in computers in schools has been disappointing. There are few studies that show that computer use is correlated with improved student performance. Similarly Koedinger and Corbett (2008, p. 61) write that as new technologies have emerged many hoped that they would have a radically transformative effect on education, but in reality the impact was much less than expected.

The gap between the potential and actual use of technology is a paradox and this is at the heart of the growth of a new area of research that has emerged in recent years. Learning design research aims to better understand this mismatch. It focuses on the development of tools, design methods and approaches to help teachers design pedagogically effective learning activities and whole curriculum, which make effective use of technologies.

Two recent edited collections provide a useful overview of the field of learning design (Beetham and Sharpe, 2007; Lockyer et al., 2008). Conole (forthcoming) defines learning design as follows:

A methodology for enabling teachers/designers to make more informed decisions in how they go about designing learning activities and interventions, which is pedagogically informed and makes effective use of appropriate resources and technologies. This includes the design of resources and individual learning activities right up to curriculum-level design. A key principle is to help make the design process more explicit and shareable. Learning design as an area of research and development includes both gathering empirical evidence to understand the design process, as well as the development of a range of  learning design resource, tools and activities.

This call focusses on learning design. Learning design as a term is being used in a number of different ways, this special issues aims to clarify these different perspectives.  Arguably, designing for learning is one of the key challenges facing education today; it offers a potential solution to address some of the challenges outlined above. It provides a methodology to help guide and support teachers in the creation of effective learning interventions and resources, which harness the potential of social and participatory media. Papers are welcome on any aspects of learning design, some suggested areas of focus are listed below:

  • What are the implications of new social and participatory media for education and how can they be harnessed more effectively to support learning?
  • What are the different ways in which learning interventions can be represented?
  • How can social networking and other dialogic tools be used to enable teachers to share and discuss their learning and teaching practices, ideas and designs?
  • What are the implications for learners, teachers and institutions of new social and participatory media?
  • What new pedagogies are emerging as a result of the use of new social and participatory media?
  • How are Open Educational Resources being design, used and repurposed?
  • What are the implications for formal institutions of the increasingly availability of free resources, tools and even total educational offerings, such as Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs)?

Papers of the follow types are welcome:

  • Reviews of aspects of the latest learning design results.
  • Empirical studies and evaluations of learning design interventions.
  • Policy papers and briefings, particularly looking at the implications of new social and participatory media for learning and teaching.
  • Papers on different learning design methodologies and representations.
  • Reports and evaluation on learning design visualisation tools.
  • Reports and evaluations of pedagogical planners.
  • Empirical studies on the nature of social and participatory media, their key characteristics and how they can be used by learners and teachers.
  • Case studies on how learners and teachers are using technologies and associated design implications.
  • Theoretical underpinnings of the field of learning design.
  • The relationship between learning theories and learning design.
  • Critiques of the relationship between learning design and related fields, such as instructional design, pedagogical patterns and learning sciences.

The article submission closes on October 21, 2011. The provisional date of publication is December 2011.
For further information and to submit your article, please contact:

Guest editor

Professor Gráinne Conole, University of Leicester, UK.

The submissions need to comply with the following guidelines:

  • Submission language: English
  • Title: must effectively and creatively communicate the content of the article and may include a subtitle.
  • Executive summary for In-depth section should not exceed 200 words.
  • Executive summary for From the field section should not exceed 50 words.
  • Keywords: up to five relevant keywords need to be included.
  • In-depth full texts: articles should range from 4,000 to 6,000 words.
  • From the field texts: texts should not exceed 1,200 words.
  • Conclusions: special importance is given to the representation of the conclusions, which should be clearly stated both in the summary and at the end of the article.
  • References: All the references must be adequately cited and listed.
  • Author profile: author name, institution, position and e-mail address must accompany each submission.
  • Images: Please send high resolution JPEG files

See the complete guidelines at:



Vă rugăm să introduceți comentariul dvs.!
Introduceți aici numele dvs.