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Humanising-LD-with-Digital-Pragmatism-OER24-Workshop-Resource.pdf (23.97 MB)

Humanising Learning Design with Digital Pragmatism: OER24 Workshop Output

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conference contribution
posted on 2024-05-24, 07:45 authored by Clare ThomsonClare Thomson, Kate MolloyKate Molloy

This resource is the collaborative output from an OER24 workshop which took place in Cork, March 2024.


Drawing on work from the Higher Education for Good (2023) chapter, this workshop will champion a pragmatic approach to creative learning design, where small incremental changes for good can build to large-scale transformation. The facilitators will set the theoretical considerations within the daily constraints of educators to explore humane, practical, open solutions to digital problems related to teaching and learning in higher education.

Leveraging the six emergent strategy elements through a biomimicry-orientated lens, participants will consider micro, meso, and macro methods for changing and developing learning design culture in their contexts (brown, 2017). With a combined thirty years of experience supporting staff and students in the “third space”, we will draw on our unique experiences, combining traditional approaches such as learning design frameworks, open practice lenses of care and social justice, and the natural world. (Whitchurch, 2008).

The aim of this session is to explore practical, humane solutions to digital problems related to teaching and learning in higher education — demystifying some of those challenges with creative and playful solutions. We will share the prevalent issues raised by staff and/or students in our teaching settings and support sessions, as well as local and national surveys, literature, conferences, and community of practice settings over recent years. In this workshop, participants will be encouraged to share their unique experiences and the session will adapt organically based on the needs and interests of our participants.

Drawing on the tenets of emergent strategy, championing individual actions, which at scale generate complex patterns, this collective and collaborative workshop will equip participants to lead to transformative justice for themselves and their students. The workshop will help participants to embrace the complex entanglement of pedagogy and technology that is a necessity in a post-digital world (Fawns, 2022).

In an educational landscape that remains in a state of flux, heightened by the pandemic, emergent strategy frames this design approach between the micro and macro levels, and not only outlining how they intersect, but how cultural change can be driven (brown, 2017). Power imbalances can be addressed through collaborations and drive policy change for “good” such as inclusion, decolonisation, anti-surveillance, and wellbeing.

In this participatory session, we will invite participants to examine each of the six emergent strategy elements, addressing and identifying practical solutions for each. We propose to develop a collection of crowd-sourced educator activities for a collaborative OER, modelling the intersections of open education, creative pedagogies, and learning design.

Further alternative formats of this resource can be found at Kate's blog: https://kate-molloy.net/open-practice/oer24-workshop-resource-humanising-learning-design-with-digital-pragmatism/

HE for Good Book chapter can be found at: https://www.openbookpublishers.com/books/10.11647/obp.0363/chapters/10.11647/obp.0363.17 


Advance HE Fellowship status

  • Senior Fellowship

Author's role

  • Educational developer

Accessibility status

  • Has passed accessibility checks

Twitter username



Heriot-Watt University

Date of resource creation

March 2024



Learning Resource Type

  • Conference Contribution

Target Group or Audience


Target Expertise or Skill Level

  • Intermediate