Artefact 3

Task 1.2 – Instructional and learning design.

Within the context of a primary school, I believe that most of my work falls within the parameters of learning design more than instructional design.   The content is informed by the New Zealand Curriculum, however the focus is more on developing the five key competencies of: thinking, managing self, participating and contributing, using language, symbols and text and relating to others (MOE, 2014).  I suppose as an educator I look for opportunities that will show evidence of my students’ capabilities as they participate with others within the specific context that we teach and learn in.  There is an availability of programmes that are more focused on the teaching process rather than the learning process, programmes that come pre organised in modules, and generally from outside agencies.  An example that comes to mind is the ‘Cool Schools’ programme which is a peer mediation programme.  However, for these programmes to be effective, they do have to be placed within a context, and adapted to what the learners need and consider as being relevant.

I believe that learners learn most when they participate in active decision making to inform and guide their learning.  Hence when approaching a unit of work, my class always starts off with asking what is known, what needs to be learnt, what will help us learn, and how we are going to show evidence of learning.


Image 1  An example of shared planning with my class (Term 2, 2016).

I find that this kind of questioning makes my planning more relevant to my students, compared to past planning which used to happen mostly in preparation during the holidays without consultation with the students.  In saying this, I think that my planning for assessment and meeting of goals is more teacher driven and reflective of Dick, Carey, and Carey’s model, so perhaps my practice is more of a blend of instructional and learning design, rather than just one or the other.

From ensuing discussion (Theuma, 2016)

Following link suggested by peer O’Connor (2016)

Our current focus is on teaching, not on learning- that part made me think of design alchemy (Sims, 2014) and the truth that we (teachers) only assess aspects of learning that are easy to measure to comply with a curriculum.

I think this dichotomy exists in most curricula- on one hand we talk about key competencies and skills we believe future citizens need.  This is where the creativity, the self management, the collaboration, and the determination come in, the areas where learners need to be allowed to explore.  Then comes the reigning in part- the curriculum achievement objectives and assessment which determine what is taught.

What I hear Richardson (2016) say is that if we are to use technology, it is to help with the development of learner life skills, the key competencies, but this is no easy feat for schools that are expected to focus on curriculum coverage that is measurable and assessed, rather than the development of learner key competencies.

“if we believe that the most powerful learning that kids do can only be measured by their desire to learn more, then any innovation we introduce must focus on creating fundamentally different experiences for kids in our classrooms, with or without technology. ”  (Richardson, 2016)



Ministry of Education (2014).  Key Competencies.  In New Zealand Curriculum Online.  Retrieved from

O’Connor, L.  (2016, March 23).  Re:  Theuma- Instructional or Learning Design [Online forum comment].  Retrieved from

Richardson, W.  (2016, March 3).  Stop Innovating in Schools.  Please.  [Web log message].  Retrieved from

Sims, R. (2014). Design alchemy: transforming the way we think about learning and teaching. New York NY: Springer.

Theuma, P.  (2016, March 31).  Re:  Theuma- Instructional or Learning Design [Online forum comment].  Retrieved from