Learning Design

Learning design model

I designed the Double Loop Self-Regulated Learning cycle to assist myself and my teaching team develop a blended learning delivery for Learning to Learn units from the Foundatrion Studies Training Package.


Several factors converge to create the context for this e learning design model. The challenges to TAFE teaching sections by the  introduction of the Smart and Skilled Vocational Education and Training Strategy in NSW  in 2015; the increasing trend in providing flexible and personalised learning ;  the introduction of the Foundation Skills Training Package amidst the release of several damning reports into the level of foundation and employability skills of Australian workers.

In Vocational Education and Training the focus has been on competency with courses built around units of competency making up industry specific training packages. However, while students may gain competency in a range of specific technical skills, it does not follow that they will also gain professional competency or a framework for learning how to learn, (Dryen, 2003). While the “shelf life of many technical skills is decreasing”, (Chappell, Hawke et al, 2004), learning to learn has become a very desirable attribute for employees to manage change and contribute to innovative work practices.

 Who are the Stakeholders?

1.     Learners

The learners in Northern Sydney Institute (NSI) Foundation Education Faculty are:

  • ·        Developing prevocational language, literacy, numeracy, digital and learning skills
  • ·        Accessing job readiness programs
  • ·        Vocational students requiring language, literacy, numeracy, digital and learning skill development to successfully complete their qualification.

 Many have limited exposure to technology. Some are fearful of technology. Some young people, ostensibly digital native, have very limited understanding and experience of the range of technological learning experiences in a training or work context. Technology is an integral part of learning and work in the 21st century. 21st century literacy includes the capacity to search, refine, discard, and creatively use information for a variety of purposes.

In many vocational and work contexts, professional knowledge is subject to fast and continual change and learners require strategies to keep current and embrace change. Being able to source, assimilate, use, reinvent, repurpose, review and update skills and knowledge and work with others are crucial skills for current learners and current and future workers. Adaptable and well-designed blended learning programs can develop learning to learn skills which could be accessed ‘in the workplace, in a Campus Learning Centre, or anywhere an individual learner requires access to it.

 2.     Teaching staff

Most Northern Sydney Institute Foundation Education Faculty teaching staff are unfamiliar with teaching using a blended learning approach. With little experience of online learning in their own lives or professional development, they picture students learning alone with no contact with teachers and classmates. Teachers with little exposure to social media do not have an understanding of the possibilities for communication it affords. Often their argument is that these students are not ready for online learning. A counter argument is that to develop socially inclusive practices for all vocational students, it is the design of the learning program which needs to be tailored to disadvantaged students not the other way around.

 3.     Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

The Foundation Education Faculty in the Northern Sydney Institute, TAFENSW, is keen to use a blended delivery approach to expand the reach of the RTO, conserve physical resources and reduce expensive face to face teaching hours. While little resources in terms of dollars are available to assist blended resource development, other “in kind” resources can be utilised- the expertise of other faculty teaching staff, and the reduction in teaching hours to compensate for product development.

 Essential Inclusions in the Double Loop Self-Regulated learning cycle design for this learning context   

The learning design had to include processes to inform the Double Loop Self- regulated learning cycle- explicit references and guides to underpin the key design components for both students developing foundation skills and inexperienced eLearning teacher/facilitators.


Design component Goal of component Tool/theory to guide learners and facilitators


Questioning of assumptions behind the content, technology and pedagogy Double Loop Learning
Pedagogical theory Linking teaching learning strategy, content and technology choices TPACK
Development of personalised learning Using a metacognitive framework for both teachers and learners to express what is happening throughout the process from Planning to Reflection 5Rs of Lifelong learning and the 5 stages of e facilitation
Development of self-determined  learning Visualising the learning journey  PAH Continuum

 The learning product

An online learning program is to be developed using the Double Loop Self-Regulated Learning Cycle to deliver ‘Learning to Learn’ units from the Foundation Skills Training Package. This learning program will be available to both vocational and prevocational students at the campus in the first instance in a blended delivery mode. The prototype model will be developed by one learning designer to introduce 2-4 inexperienced    e learning teacher/facilitators to the context. They will facilitate the blended delivery to on campus classes using the tools and processes discussed in this report to assist them to move through each stage of the learning cycle. Regular meetings of the facilitators, face to face and online will take place to foster collaboration and a community of practice. It is envisaged that the following iteration of the product to other learner groups will see the development of the product through reflection and the growth of capability of the facilitators.

 What are the design components and why did I include them?

The Double Loop Self-regulated Learning Cycle

The self- regulated learning cycle encourages active learning for both the learners and their facilitator/teachers.

The three stage cycle (Planning, Doing, and Reflecting), was developed by Helen Barrett for the design of student e portfolios. Her addition of Argyris and Schon’s ‘double loop’ adds a layer to encourage deeper reflection so that teachers using the model form the habit of questioning the underlying assumptions of the How and the What of learning experiences with the Why. The case study, Encouraging self-regulated learning through electronic portfolios in the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, describes the growing significance of developing innovative and imaginative learners, as well as skills such as literacy and other core competency skills. Student e portfolios are defined as a “purposeful collection of student work that tells the story of a student’s effort, progress and/or achievement in one or more areas,” (Abrami, Wade et al, 2008).

 TAFENSW ebackpack  or Skillslocker could be utilised in a similar way, building a portfolio of evidence for the fulfilment of assessment criteria for units of competency but also in developing learner capability through the learning activities, knowledge contribution and sharing and reflection which takes place. Teachers developing their own skills as facilitators in the blended learning mode are also able, through reflection, to question tasks and technology rather than seek to simply move the old pen and paper activities online.

 In the context of the Foundation Education Faculty, the Double Loop Self-Regulated Learning Cycle would be used and tested by the lead designer to develop a prototype using units from the Learning and Digital Literacy strands of the Foundation Studies Training Package. The team of experienced teachers but inexperienced e learning teacher/facilitators would then trial the product with their classes. The next iteration of the product would be as a result of the reflection process.

 Group blogging has proven to produce changes to teacher and learner perception and sometimes curriculum direction demonstrating the power of the addition of the “second” loop in the design process, (Glassman et al, 2013).Blogging could be introduced as a learning tool in the blended learning approach for the Foundation Education Faculty to facilitate the development of a deeper reflection on curriculum and delivery than just the “simple, adjustment based strategies” in single loop design, (Glassman et al, 2013). As Glassman’s case study notes in its vocational education example, a general education course in Child Development, time spent on examining the meaning of blogging, models of blogs etc. scaffolded the concepts for students. Blogging could be recommended as a strategy to incorporate double loop learning effecting ongoing and continuous reflection, interaction and development of a community of practice.

 Processes to inform the Double Loop Self- regulated learning cycle

 PAH continuum

The continuum starts with pedagogy- teacher generated and organised content which could be organised in engaging ways for learners, andragogy and enable learners to express their learning and develop other avenues of learning for themselves, Heutagogy, (Garnett, 2013). When learners generate their own contexts for learning, they move towards Heutagogy- where learning occurs in formal and informal contexts, using personal technologies, enriching the learning experience, (Wheeler, 2014). Thomas Cochrane’s MOBCOP (Mobile Community of Practice) aims to move teachers and learners along the PAH continuum through the use of e portfolios, (Cochrane,2014). It seems the use of e portfolios may free learners and teachers from the rigid structure of LMS (Learning Management systems.)

 In the Double Loop Self- Regulated Learning Cycle, it is envisaged that the teacher /facilitator might lead with some content and strategy with which they feel confident, negotiate with the learners as to how that subject and the learning relates to their individual contexts and allow them to express and explore their interests within the context of the learning, (Garnett, 2013). The use of the TAFE ebackpack will allow room for growth and exploration for both the learners and the teacher/facilitators to move along the PAH Continuum.

 Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)              

 The incorporation of TPACK into this learning design model lends it the academic rigour required for experienced teachers who are inexperienced in the eLearning facilitator role, to test the currency of the theoretical framework they bring to the planning of learning experiences for students. While they are planning, doing and reflecting, they are also able to match these stages of the cycle with the interstices of Pedagogy, Content and Technology. In this context it will discourage content being simply moved online with little thought, development or change. The TPACK model demands that technologies be selected to fit content and pedagogy by the learning designer, making the tasks and activities pass a ‘fit for purpose’ test.

In the Practitioner’s guide to TPACK, The High School Geometry case study clearly demonstrates the fit of curriculum content with the use of dynamic geometry software, technology which is used to bring the content into the real world in an engaging way allowing multiple entry points for differentiating the curriculum for students with different levels of knowledge and skill,(TPACK cases, 2012).

 Vocational Education and Training contexts demand learners demonstrate not only competency but capability across workplace contexts. Assisting apprentices develop applied mathematics skills as well as deeper thinking and learning processes to solve real problems that arise at work is essential. Using the TPACK process within the Double Loop Self-Regulated Learning Cycle to plan and design teaching and learning scenarios means teachers must think clearly about the relationship between technology, pedagogy and content and their learners when developing the learning program.

 VET Capability Framework

 The VET Capability Framework is an opportunity for teachers to develop a learning and development plan for themselves. There are three practitioner levels which cover aspects of Teaching- Learning Theories, Design, Facilitation and Evaluation, among other domains. The framework was developed by the Innovation and Business Skills Council of Australia (IBSA) in 2013. Case studies in the Implementation resource can be used by Head Teachers of TAFE sections, for example, as a tool to work with their teams to highlight areas where teachers require professional development. Such a commitment to continuous improvement is one way in which double loop learning can deepen the reflection process for teacher/facilitators.

 Using evidence based tools and process throughout the Cycle means that inexperienced e Learning teacher/facilitators have the opportunity to build capability alongside their student learners. Working with the prototype ‘Learning to Learn’ blended program, teachers will be able to reflect, change and modify the product, developing skills and strategies and their own practitioner capability.

 The 5Rs for Lifelong Learning and the 5 Stage e Facilitation model

 The UKs ‘Campaign for Learning’ champions the 5Rs – readiness, resourcefulness, resilience, responsibility and reflectiveness as attributes successful learner attributes who understand they are learning how to learn, (Lucas and Claxton, 2013). Case studies discuss strategies for enlivening curriculum to engage learners and develop in them behaviours and attributes necessary in self-determined learners. Teacher facilitators can use this guide as they develop, try out and reflect on tasks and activities in the learning program developed using the Double Loop Self-Regulated Learning Cycle to ensure they are developing the 5Rs.

 Gilly Salmon’s model presents beginner facilitators, especially, 5 stages to assist them develop e moderating skills. As they reflect on the communications occurring between students and between students and facilitators, they can actively move students from engagement through to information exchange, construction of knowledge and self-determined learning.

All these processes explicitly develop a metacognitive approach for e learning teacher/facilitators as they work through the Double Loop Self-Regulated Learning cycle.

 Examples of activities and tasks which may occur throughout the Double Loop Self-Regulated learning cycle.

 Finally, some ‘draft’ tasks and activities have been listed on the cycle for the prototype ‘Learning to Learn’ product. This was inspired by the original Self Regulating Learning Process (Barrett, 2012) developed to support reflection in e-portfolio development.




Dryen, R, 2004                                            ‘Theory into practice: VET NSW Teaching and Learning Project’

TAFENSW , viewed 15 August 2014, http://lrrpublic.cli.det.nsw.edu.au/lrrSecure/Sites/Web/13289/resources/documents/casestudies2003.pdf


Chappell C, 2009                                    ‘Contemporary Vocational Learning-Changing pedagogy’, 2009, viewed 1 September 2014,                                 

www.avetra.org.au/Conference_Archives/…/PA013Chappell.pdf Teaching and Learning

Abrami, Wade et al, 2008                        ‘Encouraging self-regulated learning through electronic

                                                                         Portfolios’, Canadian Journal of Teaching and Learning,

V34(3), viewed 15 August 2014,




Glassman M, Bartholomew M,

Hur E, 2013                                                     ‘The importance of double loop in educational technology: an action science study of introducing blogging in a course curriculum’, Sage publications, viewed 20 August 2014, http://arj.sagepub.com/content/11/4/337


Garnett, F, 2013                                         ‘The PAH Continuum: Pedagogy, Androgogy and Heutagogy,  Heutagogy Community of Practice’, viewed 18 August 2014




Wheeler, S, 2013                                       ‘Theories for the digital age: self-regulated learning’, 2013, viewed 20 August 2014, http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/theories-for-digital-age-self-regulated.html#!/2012/10/theories-for-digital-age-self-regulated.html,


Cochrane, T, 2010                                                      ‘Exploring mobile learning success factors’, Research in Learning Technology Vol. 18, No. 2, July 2010, 133–148, viewed 20 August 2014, http://researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/viewFile/10758/12383



Lucas B, Claxton G, 2009                                         ‘School as a foundation for Life Long Learning’, National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, 2009, viewed 1 September, 2014, http://www.niace.org.uk/lifelonglearninginquiry/docs/IFLL-Sector-Paper1.pdf


 Barrett, H, 2012                                                         ‘m portfolios: supporting reflection in e portfolios with mobile devices’, 2012, viewed 18 August 2014                                                                  http://electronicportfolios.org/reflection/process/ReflectionCycleMobile14.pdf,




Matrix of Foundation Skills Units of Competency


TAFENSW ebackpack

 (page accessed by authorisation only so snapshot provided):

 VET Capability Framework


 Gilly Salmon’s 5 Stage Model for e moderating


Technological, Pedagogical, Content Knowledge (TPACK)


 5Rs of Life Long Learning


 Pedagogy, Androgogy, Heutagogy: PAH Continuum


 Double Loop Learning










Author: Monique Brunello

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