Seizing the day to design for openness: the Carpe Diem approach

Dr Alejandro Armellini

Keywords: Carpe Diem, learning design, design for learning, open, openness, workshop, course team, storyboard, e-tivities, capacity building

This chapter describes the Carpe Diem learning design process, which evolved at the University of Leicester as a result of the open educational resources (OER) agenda. The key component of the Carpe Diem learning design process is a two-day face-to-face workshop aimed at academic course teams. Carpe Diem suggests applications of relevant learning technologies to address key pedagogic and learning design challenges. Carpe Diem is a creative, hands-on process, not a workshop on how to use certain tools. Carpe Diem delivers a blueprint and a storyboard for the course, a set of running, peer-reviewed online learning activities, a model for further development and an action plan.

At the heart of Carpe Diem is the collaborative and highly creative development of a storyboard for the course being designed or redesigned. Participants’ initial approaches tend to be content-driven: they lay out the content in a linear manner and subsequently ‘bolt on’ other components, such as learning activities, online discussion areas and assessment. In Carpe Diem we encourage participants to move away from this content-centric approach in favour of a task-based, learner-centred alternative that fosters different types of interaction for knowledge construction.

The development of many OER repositories worldwide and the awareness that the OER agenda has raised across the UK higher education sector have been critical levers in the evolution of Carpe Diem as an effective and scalable learning design intervention. Thus, Carpe Diem today does not only meet its original collaborative learning design objectives cost-effectively, but raises awareness of and disseminates the OER and open practices agenda across disciplines and institutions.