Design Patterns and the Structural Properties of Networked Learning Environments

Peter Goodyear, Kate Thompson, Lucila Carvalho, Beat Schwendimann, Ana Pinto Dewa Wardak, David Ashe, Martin Parisio and Pippa Yeoman

Keywords: Design patterns, properties, networked learning

This chapter begins with an introduction to the analysis of learning environments using ideas from the work of Christopher Alexander (patterns, pattern languages and structural properties). It summarises recent research and developments with respect to the use of the patterns-based approach in capturing and sharing educational design experience. It then offers an account of the structural properties of networked learning environments, illustrated with outcomes from our analysis of some contrasting learning networks. Alexander’s “15 properties”, which he argues “give life” to buildings and artefacts, turn out to be applicable in understanding the architecture of successful networked learning. We conclude by observing that skill in the analysis of learning environments is an important capacity for the designer.