Improving STEM Undergraduate Education with Efficient Learning Design

Godsk, Mikkel (2018). Improving STEM Undergraduate Education with Efficient Learning Design. EdD thesis The Open University.



The project investigates the potential of Learning Design for efficiently improving STEM undergraduate education with technology. In order to investigate this potential, the project consists of two main studies at Aarhus University: a study of the perspectives of the main stakeholders on Learning Design based on mixed methods, and a study of how to deliver Learning Design efficiently in four undergraduate STEM modules based on an action research methodology.

The project revealed that all stakeholders at AU had a direct interest in the business, teaching, and/or learning affordances potentially provided by technology-enhanced learning based on Learning Design, and in particular students’ learning was of a high common interest. However, only the educators were directly interested in Learning Design and its support for design, reuse in their practice and to inform pedagogy. A holistic concept of Efficient Learning Design and its related assessment methodology is proposed in which efficiency is expressed as a vector sum of the weighted ratios of effort for and impact on the three main stakeholders: the institution, the educators, and the students, and assessed according to their stakes by means of four outcome scenarios: outperforming, underperforming, progressive, and regressive. The assessment of the four modules identified both outperforming and progressive interventions, a series of direct and indirect factors for Efficient Learning Design as well as an important temporal aspect of Learning Design uptake.

The project concludes that it is possible to improve STEM undergraduate education with Learning Design for technology-enhanced learning efficiently and that Efficient Learning Design provides a useful concept for qualifying educational decisions.

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