P romoting Institutional Change

Promoting Institutional Change:

Embedding Learning Design

using LAMS in ESOL

Lorna Burns

ESOL Department

Barnet College, UK


Simon Walker

School of Education and Training

University of Greenwich, UK



The use of the P romoting Institutional Change Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) to support English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learners has been shown to enhance learning in a Further Education College in North West London, UK. In this P romoting Institutional Change paper the authors discuss the findings of a pilot project that explored its use with different groups of learners. They consider some of the pedagogical issues affecting the integration of learning design P romoting Institutional Change using LAMS in the curriculum and its uptake by staff in the wider community. Cultural factors that contribute to the sharing of learning designs and, ultimately, the adoption of learning P romoting Institutional Change design by a community of practitioners are discussed and conclusions drawn about some ways to develop capacity.

Keywords: LAMS, support, ESOL learners, enhance learning, Further Education

1. Introduction

As a partner college in the P romoting Institutional Change JISC funded eLISA1 and eLIDA CAMEL2 projects, the learning design tool, LAMS has been employed in the ESOL Department at Barnet College, a Further Education College in North West London since 2006. Students and P romoting Institutional Change teachers had reported positively on the use of LAMS during these projects to support teaching and learning but the trials had been small, involving three teachers and three classes of students P romoting Institutional Change. Insufficient evidence to support the widespread use of learning design prevented the wholesale adoption of LAMS in the ESOL Department, although the indicators for adding value and enhancing learning were encouraging. The College P romoting Institutional Change agreed to fund a further pilot to establish whether similar results would be replicated when a larger number of students and staff used LAMS. The project included two external partners, namely the University P romoting Institutional Change of Greenwich, which provided initial training, and LAMS International, which hosted LAMS. The pilot ran from February to July 2008 and involved eight teachers and ninety-three students. The aims of the P romoting Institutional Change project were to examine the extent to which LAMS:

  1. can enhance planning and delivery of student-centred ESOL lessons;

  2. can support all levels of ESOL learners;

  3. can facilitate the sharing and repurposing P romoting Institutional Change of learning designs by other teachers in the ESOL Department.

In a project such as this where a clear framework of support was needed, a particular approach was adopted whereby members of staff P romoting Institutional Change were encouraged to share their ideas and designs, and collaborate on developing designs for learning practices. In this paper the authors pay particular attention to, and suggest some of P romoting Institutional Change the conditions required for, the emergence of a learning design community of practitioners using LAMS in ESOL.

^ 2. Concepts of Design for Learning

The planning for and delivery of learning is increasingly referred to as ‘design P romoting Institutional Change for learning’ or ‘learning design’, especially within the context of the digital age. Beetham (2007) defines learning design as “a set of practices carried out by learning professionals …” defined as “designing, planning, orchestrating P romoting Institutional Change structuring and supporting of learning activities, which involve the use of technology, as part of a learning session or programme”. She concludes that for learning to take place, the P romoting Institutional Change designs must be realised or run. Beetham’s definition, which includes all the aspects of planning and delivery of teaching and learning with technology, fits well with the use of LAMS.

Pearce P romoting Institutional Change and Cartmill (2007: 3) comment that, “The LAMS tool, in particular, is designed to elicit constructivist design and is particularly effective in facilitating a more active approach to students’ learning”. Teachers who already take P romoting Institutional Change an activity-focused approach to designing their students’ learning find that using learning design tools has helped them to extend their thinking (Masterman, Jameson & Walker, forthcoming). Indeed, it was apparent to the ESOL teachers already P romoting Institutional Change used to designing learning outcomes and devising activities to meet them, that there was synergy between the way they usually planned their lessons on paper and lesson planning which took place using P romoting Institutional Change LAMS. LAMS can help to improve a practitioner’s thinking and planning skills, (Jameson, Walker, Riachi, Kelly & Stiles, 2008; Walker, 2008).

^ 3. The Development of Communities of Practitioners

Successful and sustainable design for learning P romoting Institutional Change requires, amongst other things, being a part of a community of practice, which may be broken down into components such as individual teaching and learning expertise, an understanding of classroom practice P romoting Institutional Change and being a part of a community of practice (Jameson et al., 2008). It could be argued that the ESOL teachers at Barnet College were already engaged in community of practice activities; new P romoting Institutional Change teachers are supported by more experienced teachers and become part of its supportive community, dynamically evolving new roles through the process of ‘legitimate peripheral participation’ (Lave & Wenger, 1991). This is further strengthened P romoting Institutional Change by a culture of sharing teaching and learning materials such as books and other print-based materials. Web-based resources are distributed, between teachers formally, via the College’s managed learning environment (MLE) and informally P romoting Institutional Change via e-mail. However, paper-based learning designs, i.e. lesson plans, are not commonly shared. The question was whether this community would easily adapt to sharing LAMS learning designs, and P romoting Institutional Change, if clear benefits to stakeholders were in evidence, what sorts of drivers would be needed to embed the use of learning design tools such as LAMS.

^ 4. Existing Research using LAMS with ESOL Learners P romoting Institutional Change

There have been a number of LAMS trials in Australia and in the UK since 2004. Although most of these trials focused on the practitioners’ viewpoints rather than the learners, they report on P romoting Institutional Change the high level of student engagement and enjoyment when using LAMS (Gibbs & Philip, 2005). Butler (2004) suggests that LAMS aids students’ learning, understanding, cognitive skills and it enhances motivation. It also encourages P romoting Institutional Change differentiation, revision, self-paced and collaborative learning, as well as promoting independent learning (Russell, Varga-Atkins & Roberts, 2005). The JISC eLISA project concluded that there were important gains for learners and practitioners from using P romoting Institutional Change e-learning tools such as LAMS when delivering study skills (Jameson, 2006).

There has been little published research on the use of LAMS with ESOL learners and teachers. However, the findings that do exist P romoting Institutional Change demonstrate positive results. Burns’ (2008) small scale analysis with fifteen pre-intermediate ESOL students showed highly positive learner preferences for using LAMS as part of classroom learning. She measured the effectiveness P romoting Institutional Change of learning by comparing test scores of the LAMS group with a parallel class of learners who did not use LAMS and found that the LAMS group’s scores were higher P romoting Institutional Change. She concluded that LAMS enhanced learning and “had a positive effect on student motivation and participation, and aided independent learning”.

One element of the pilot study was to ascertain whether LAMS is P romoting Institutional Change a suitable tool to use with all levels of language learners. It was therefore important to include a wide range of learners to measure its effectiveness with all levels of ESOL learners.

5. Methodology

Project participants P romoting Institutional Change included eight experienced ESOL practitioners who had a range of technological skills but who were all new to LAMS, and ninety-three students from E1 (beginners) to L2 (advanced)3 who had P romoting Institutional Change used LAMS for the first time during the summer term of 2008 as part of this project. The teachers in the pilot group were self-selecting as they responded to an e-mail P romoting Institutional Change inviting them to take part in the study. The students in the pilot comprised groups of ESOL students that the teachers taught regularly and included a group of trained teachers from overseas P romoting Institutional Change who were learning English. The students were from diverse origins, religions, cultures and educational backgrounds (figure 1). Their ages ranged from sixteen to over sixty (figure 2) and they possessed a range P romoting Institutional Change of computer skills from beginner to advanced. Their computing skills were assessed at the beginning of the year using college based diagnostic tests.

^ Countries of Origin of ESOL Students

Figure 1: ESOL students’ countries of origin

Participating P romoting Institutional Change teachers consented to:

A programme of support for all the teachers followed the formal workshops. Teachers were offered additional training sessions on P romoting Institutional Change ‘using LAMS tools’ and ‘using LAMS with Hot Potatoes’, drop-in sessions and, if needed, one-to-one sessions with the project manager. Prior to running their LAMS learning designs with learners P romoting Institutional Change, the teachers met together to critique each others’ designs. They reported this as being a valuable experience, as it highlighted possible problems with the activities which could be resolved and improved before the P romoting Institutional Change designs were used with students over the five-week trial period.

^ Figure 2: Student ages

A programme of support for all the teachers followed the formal workshops. Teachers were offered additional training sessions on P romoting Institutional Change ‘using LAMS tools’ and ‘using LAMS with Hot Potatoes’, drop-in sessions and, if needed, one-to-one sessions with the project manager. Prior to running their LAMS learning designs P romoting Institutional Change with learners, the teachers met together to critique each others’ designs. They reported this as being a valuable experience, as it highlighted possible problems with the activities which could be resolved P romoting Institutional Change and improved before the designs were used with students over the five-week trial period.

The designs covered a variety of topics (table 1). Five of the learning designs concentrated on aspects of grammar P romoting Institutional Change, one on punctuation and the other four were topic based and concentrated mainly on reading and writing skills.

^ 6. Limitations of the Study

The teachers’ evaluation questionnaire mainly included open-ended questions designed to capture P romoting Institutional Change more qualitative data about their experience of using LAMS. However, a few multiple choice questions were also included, to ascertain, for example, how effective they thought LAMS was as a learning tool P romoting Institutional Change. In contrast, and given the difficulty that students with low levels of English find in expressing themselves cogently when faced with a number of open-ended questions, the students’ questionnaire consisted mainly but P romoting Institutional Change not exclusively, of multiple choice questions. The authors acknowledge the potential weakness of the analysis of the findings given the disparity of the student respondents’ data in comparison with the teachers P romoting Institutional Change’. Another variable, for which data was not captured, was the type of learning environment or lesson location in which students used LAMS. This, along with the sole reliance on a questionnaire, as opposed P romoting Institutional Change to other qualitative data gathering methods such as interview, has implications for both the validity and reliability of the study and is recognised as a limitation of the study.

Table 1: ESOL P romoting Institutional Change classes that used LAMS

^ Level of Group

Age range of students

No. of Students

Subject of learning design

E1 (beginners)




E2 (elementary)



Future predictions

E2C (elementary)



Past Simple

E2B (elementary P romoting Institutional Change)



Past Simple (repurposed)

E3 (intermediate)



Newspapers (reading skills and vocabulary)

E3 (intermediate)



Present Perfect revision

L1 (upper-intermediate)



Carbon Footprints (reading and writing skills)

L1 (upper-intermediate)



Charities (reading and writing skills P romoting Institutional Change and vocabulary)

L1 (upper-intermediate)



Type 2 conditional sentences

L1/L2 (upper-intermediate/advanced)



School Uniform (reading, writing and listening skills)

7. Findings

The project team recognised that one of the key drivers to embed P romoting Institutional Change LAMS would be to show potential improvements in learning outcomes, especially with members of staff who may be unconvinced by the efficiency argument. To influence pedagogical development in the department, it P romoting Institutional Change was seen as critically important to seek teachers’ views, be informed by the student voice, raise awareness of the need to adopt new innovative practices and encourage discussion about how these may P romoting Institutional Change affect the normal learning and teaching experience. Eight teachers created and ran learning designs using LAMS 2.0. In addition, one of the teachers re­used a learning design which was produced by the project P romoting Institutional Change manager. The key findings are discussed below.

^ 7.1 Student Beliefs

Seventy-seven students (82%) of the ninety-three who took part in the study said they liked using computers in their studies. None P romoting Institutional Change of the students said they had not enjoyed the LAMS activities; therefore, even students who did not like using computers to aid their studies said they had enjoyed using LAMS.

The majority P romoting Institutional Change of the students, sixty-four (69%) found LAMS easy or fairly easy to use. Only thirteen (14%) said that they had found LAMS a little difficult and none of the students found LAMS very P romoting Institutional Change difficult to use. As this was the students’ first experience of using LAMS, and bearing in mind the variety of computing skills among the cohort, it is highly likely that students did not find LAMS P romoting Institutional Change beyond their computing abilities.

When they were asked whether they had enjoyed their lesson using LAMS more than lessons without LAMS, forty-seven students (51%) said they had (figure 3) and eighty-three P romoting Institutional Change (89%) stated that they wanted to use LAMS again including all nine beginner students (figure 4).

^ Figure 3: Students’ enjoyment of LAMS lesson more than lessons without LAMS

Students gave a variety of answers P romoting Institutional Change when they were asked what they liked best about their LAMS lesson. Some mentioned the use of the LAMS tools such as chat and the forum. Of the ninety-three students, thirty said P romoting Institutional Change they had enjoyed the chat the most. One overseas teacher who was learning English said she had liked the chat facility, “because it is a good and effective way to communicate with P romoting Institutional Change my classmates”.

Some comments related to how much they had enjoyed the exercises and to whether they had found the lesson interesting and fun. An L1 student remarked, “It is interesting P romoting Institutional Change and enjoyable”. Others stressed how different the lesson had been. An E3 student remarked, “I think it was something different. It has shown us that we can also learn Grammer [sic] in a different P romoting Institutional Change way”.

^ Figure 4: Students want to use LAMS again

Students commented that LAMS allowed them to work at their own pace; an L1 student observed, “It keeps you busy and you can work P romoting Institutional Change at your own tempo”. Students also reported on the benefits of the collaborative nature of LAMS and on being able to see what other students were doing. An E1 student remarked, “I liked P romoting Institutional Change reading other students’ answers” and one L1 student mentioned, “The best was that we could check all the answers together in [sic] the same time”.

^ 7.2 Student Issues with LAMS

Students were also P romoting Institutional Change asked what they did not like about the LAMS lesson. Twenty-nine students (31%) did not express any negative comments. Several students reported technical issues; five said they had problems printing and P romoting Institutional Change four students commented on the slow speed of the computers. Two students noted issues about the use of instructional language in some tasks which impeded their progress. Others were frustrated with the P romoting Institutional Change chat. One student commented that it was difficult chatting with people who are slow as well as chatting with a lot of people.

All the LAMS lessons were delivered in a P romoting Institutional Change computing room at the college although it was мейд clear to students that they could access the designs remotely. One L1 student reflected on the blend of the classroom teaching with technology, commenting, “I think P romoting Institutional Change this software is good to use at home but during the lesson is [sic] better to learn with traditional way”. This differs to Burns’ findings (2008) with pre-intermediate students P romoting Institutional Change who expressed a preference for using LAMS in the classroom with a teacher so that they could have help with language and computing problems. Providing opportunities for using LAMS outside the classroom P romoting Institutional Change might, therefore, be more suitable for higher level language learners. This finding may add support to Alexander’s (2008) claims that, as LAMS is literacy based, it “might be more suitable for, or manageable P romoting Institutional Change with, higher level learners who may also feel more confident about ‘publicising’ their ESOL writing”.

In summary, the project evaluations found that the majority of students using LAMS, regardless of their P romoting Institutional Change English level or computing skills, reported a positive experience and wanted to use the system again. They particularly liked the chat and the approach to learning English in a different way. An overseas P romoting Institutional Change teacher мейд the point saying, “I really like [sic] this lesson [as it] was different from the way we usually learn English”. Whilst these findings are largely positive, it is important P romoting Institutional Change to note that the participants were all classroom based and, if used remotely, LAMS benefits may only be realised with higher level learners who generally appeared to be more confident computer users in this P romoting Institutional Change study.

Only one teacher used LAMS twice so the novelty factor of using LAMS with learners cannot be ignored and this may be a further legitimate limitation of the study P romoting Institutional Change. However, Burns (2008) used LAMS with the same group of ESOL students six times in a term and the students remained enthusiastic. Butler (2004) also reported during the initial UK trialling of LAMS that teachers P romoting Institutional Change at Kemnal Technical College used LAMS for over a year and the students remained motivated and keen to use it.

^ 7.3 The Teacher Experience

Eight teachers participated in the LAMS pilot and completed P romoting Institutional Change a paper-based questionnaire following the delivery of their LAMS lesson. All the teachers rated their computing skills as very good or good and six found it easy or quite easy to create P romoting Institutional Change a learning design in LAMS but two teachers found it quite difficult. It took them between two and ten hours to create their first sequence. Nevertheless, one of the teachers found P romoting Institutional Change it much quicker when she created a second sequence. The key findings are described below.

7.3.1 ESOL Issues

Five of the eight teachers said that using LAMS had changed the way they prepared P romoting Institutional Change and planned their lesson. TJ commented that it had completely changed her approach to the design for learning. “It was a student led session and I had very little to do P romoting Institutional Change as the session ran itself. The students took charge of their own learning”. TE said she concentrated more on the instructions and the order of the tasks. TP observed that the lesson “had P romoting Institutional Change to be more structured but was less flexible because students can’t go back to a previous activity”. TO and TT stressed that they had used more varied types of activities than usual P romoting Institutional Change such as chat, a forum, MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) and voting. However, TD disagreed saying that it did not change the way her lessons were planned, the only difference was that it, “opened P romoting Institutional Change up the opportunity to use different resources”. TF said it did not change the way she planned the lesson but she thought, “it’s helpful to teachers to plan P romoting Institutional Change a lesson which progresses logically”.

There were a number of language issues. TJ found that asking students to use formal language in the chat room inhibited the flow. “We decided it was not P romoting Institutional Change appropriate when responding to classmates ad-hoc”. TN considered that some of the online exercises were difficult for her E1 students. TE commented that students were distracted by advertisements on some websites to which P romoting Institutional Change she had directed them.

When asked what changes they would make to the sequence if they could run it again, two teachers suggested keeping the sequence simpler. TN said, “Basically I was P romoting Institutional Change very pleased with my sequence; however, I would add a section for the students to write their own sentences”. TA said she would devise her own exercises using Hot Potatoes P romoting Institutional Change rather than using links to online exercises. Two teachers said they would spend longer revising work which they had expected students to have remembered but they had not. This is a common problem P romoting Institutional Change which ESOL teachers find in face-to-face classes too.

Other issues revolved around the instructions. TP and TO commented that students did not read the instructions properly and TD P romoting Institutional Change remarked that the instructions “are very small and not easy to read”. She also said that technical hitches had occurred when the instructions were not followed. TF admitted that she should have given better instructions P romoting Institutional Change. She considered that, “Instructions are key to the success of LAMS” and advocated more training in this area.

7.3.2 Teacher Beliefs

The teachers had a range of comments when asked P romoting Institutional Change what had gone well in their LAMS lesson. TP said, “the students were very involved in the sequence”. TE commented that “although it was a difficult grammar exercise they just said it was great fun P romoting Institutional Change”. TO said the topic was useful for the students and they liked using the different activities. She was impressed how the students helped each other. TN wrote how much her P romoting Institutional Change E1 students had enjoyed the forum and seeing other students’ ideas. TJ considered that the whole lesson had gone well. TA noted that the students had understood how to progress through the P romoting Institutional Change sequence and were therefore able to work independently. TF also commented that the students had worked independently and at their own pace. She further stated that the chat had been very P romoting Institutional Change effective; a sentiment also expressed by TD.

The teachers considered the main advantages of using LAMS with ESOL students were that they could work independently, and at their own pace and the flexibility of undertaking P romoting Institutional Change tasks at home and/or at college. TO thought that, “LAMS can be used for extra practice for many language points and topics”. TP considered that, “Lessons can be very creative P romoting Institutional Change”. TF observed that, “The students were absorbed and engaged throughout. The chat as a teaching resource has huge potential. LAMS makes for a student-centred lesson with students taking responsibility for P romoting Institutional Change their own learning. Students will become more independent learners”.

The teachers considered that the main disadvantages of using LAMS with ESOL students were primarily technical. They reported other issues such as P romoting Institutional Change the length of time it took to create a sequence, and that there was “less verbal communication and group interaction,” in the lesson than normal as the design did not include speaking P romoting Institutional Change activities (TA). The teachers also mentioned that there were problems for students with weak IT skills. As TN stated, “For students with poor IT skills, the IT aspect got in the way of learning”.

When P romoting Institutional Change teachers were asked how effective they considered LAMS is as a learning and teaching tool, four said ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ and the other four said ‘quite effective,’ (figure P romoting Institutional Change 5, p. 114). Five teachers considered that it would be easy or very easy to adapt another teacher’s sequence to use with their learners. However, only three teachers definitely wanted to use LAMS again and P romoting Institutional Change the remaining five stated that they would quite like to use LAMS in the future (figure 6, p. 114).

^ 7.4 Technical Issues

The teachers also commented on things that went badly in their LAMS P romoting Institutional Change lesson. These included a number of technical issues, such as the sequence not opening, tasks taking a long time or failing to load, the inability of some students to print their work P romoting Institutional Change, and that students had found they could not go back to previous activities to consolidate their learning. TN was concerned that “Students were able to leapfrog some activities both intentionally and unintentionally”. TF found P romoting Institutional Change it frustrating that she had to keep refreshing the monitor screen in order to see what the students were doing and TA was not able to use the monitor at P romoting Institutional Change all as she had to let a student use her PC as the sequence did not work properly on the student’s computer.

Six teachers said they would recommend other teachers to use LAMS P romoting Institutional Change, one gave no response and one teacher had some reservations stating; “it is cumbersome at times and lacks the flexibility and reliability I would expect if I was to P romoting Institutional Change use it regularly and introduce it to other teachers” (TF). The idea of sharing and using each other’s sequences was also mentioned as TE said, “We could share our sequences. I have P romoting Institutional Change seen some of my colleagues’ sequences that I would like to use with my students”.

The teachers generally considered that LAMS was a useful tool for planning and delivering student-centred P romoting Institutional Change ESOL lessons. They found that LAMS мейд learning enjoyable, motivated students and supported self-paced, collaborative and independent learning. TF commented that “it was interesting to see the positive response of the P romoting Institutional Change learners”.

However, the teachers had some reservations. TF pointed out, “With more efficient hardware at college, with technical support and reliable LAMS software which needs to be speedier and less cumbersome, it certainly P romoting Institutional Change could be embedded”. In fact it was mostly technical issues that reduced both the teachers’ and students’ confidence in LAMS.

In summary and notwithstanding some technical issues, all the teachers managed to create P romoting Institutional Change, deliver and evaluate their experience of using LAMS. Most recommended using LAMS to colleagues. Whilst the teachers espoused enthusiasm for sharing and reusing other teachers’ sequences only one teacher reused a design during P romoting Institutional Change the pilot. They were generally keen to develop new designs and could see the potential of the tools. This finding is consistent with findings in previous studies (Walker & Masterman, 2006).

^ 8. Leveraging P romoting Institutional Change Organisational Change

In this project, learners and learning have consistently been at the heart of the work; tutors have experimented with new approaches to designing learning to enhance the achievement of learning outcomes. Staff P romoting Institutional Change have capitalised on the social and cultural norms of existing practices. They have trialled, critiqued and discussed LAMS designs with one another and have
^ How effective is LAMS for learning and teaching P romoting Institutional Change?

^ VVery








^ Teachers’ opinions

Figure 5: The effectiveness of LAMS for learning and teaching

Figure 6: Teachers want to use LAMS again

felt comfortable in these roles. Using LAMS is a natural extension to sharing ideas P romoting Institutional Change and learning resources in the department. Instead of the sole practitioner working in isolation, the picture of many working together emerges. Jameson et al. (2008: 9), notes that “design for learning implementation and evaluation by practitioners P romoting Institutional Change benefits greatly from structured social networking processes developed in a long-term community of practice”. These processes are extremely valuable in providing a framework of support to enable an individual practitioner to take P romoting Institutional Change new practices forward. The use of learning design tools appears to integrate easily with the way that ESOL is taught and adds a new and exciting dimension to ESOL lessons. The P romoting Institutional Change use of LAMS appears to work well when it is local and contextualised and where a community of teachers exists who provide support for each other and who already share P romoting Institutional Change materials readily. The teachers were keen to re-use their own learning designs and advocated a willingness to re-purpose other teachers’ designs, although it was clear from this study that further P romoting Institutional Change research into the conditions that might encourage reusing and repurposing LAMS designs needs to be undertaken. To implement a culture of sharing, teachers during a project feedback meeting considered it necessary to P romoting Institutional Change establish a procedure whereby designs should be categorised by course and level within the LAMS folder hierarchy.

In the first feedback workshops, listening to the students’ response to LAMS and to other teachers discussing P romoting Institutional Change their approach to designing learning and the toolset they employed, seemed to have a positive impact on practitioner confidence and appeared to increase the motivation and interest in designing and improving P romoting Institutional Change learning. Simple strategies such as sharing tips on using LAMS by practitioners, who have previously used LAMS, makes a difference to its successful use with learners.

The self-selecting staff involved P romoting Institutional Change in this project all seemed to share four main characteristics:

  1. intellectual design; they had a good grasp of the emerging pedagogical issues within subject discipline/metacognitive areas,

  2. individual expertise; they understood knowledge acquisition processes, exhibited P romoting Institutional Change ICT competency, a ‘can do’ attitude, acceptance of the need for curriculum redesign, understood the needs of the current learner and the shape of the future learner,

  3. social awareness P romoting Institutional Change and competence in dealing with people,

  4. community involvement; they were used to sharing and collaborating with one another.

While it is still early days in the adoption of learning design tools as a normal P romoting Institutional Change activity, it would appear that these characteristics are essential for the development of the conditions for learning design to become a sustainable practice. A culture that supports the sharing and P romoting Institutional Change critiquing of ideas and designs, and employs students’ feedback helps to develop teachers’ confidence in using new tools and approaches, which leads to greater understanding of learning (figure 7).

9. Conclusion

To successfully embed P romoting Institutional Change the use of learning design, one should not assume that pre-existing communities of practitioners will automatically adopt learning design tools. However, working in a subject area that already supports cooperative relationships P romoting Institutional Change is a considerable advantage in managing the cultural change required. The introduction of new learning tools and approaches has to be seen to benefit both learners and teachers. From discussion, teachers reported that P romoting Institutional Change LAMS can improve thinking and planning skills; any system is more likely to be adopted if it fits the way practitioners normally plan for learning, whether these are whole courses derived from existing schemes P romoting Institutional Change of work or single lessons. In both cases a critical factor is locating appropriate activities within a logical sequence for students to perform in order to meet identified outcomes. Designs for individual P romoting Institutional Change sessions naturally lead onto planning longer-term designs.

^ Figure 7: Conditions for sustainable practice

The use of LAMS, and the subsequent discussions about its deployment, helped to improve teachers’ ICT skills, supported experimentation P romoting Institutional Change and inspired innovation but teachers need training to use the tool competently, and time and support in order to feel confident to create and deliver lessons using the software. Moreover, providing support for P romoting Institutional Change understanding the concept of learning design, as well as what it means to be a learner before understanding how to use the authoring interface were regarded as important underpinning processes P romoting Institutional Change. Further investigation is needed to understand the conditions for reusing and repurposing others’ LAMS designs and bring about the same natural processes that currently support the sharing of resources.

The teachers involved in this P romoting Institutional Change pilot fully endorsed its widespread use in the ESOL Department and in other departments within the college for the benefit of other practitioners and learners. They are particularly keen to trial branching P romoting Institutional Change which is available in LAMS 2.1 as this would allow teachers to provide differentiated work to cater for stronger and weaker learners in their groups. LAMS was generally liked by P romoting Institutional Change the ESOL teachers and learners in the LAMS pilot study and the evidence suggests that it can be used with all levels of learners as part of their classroom experience from E1 (beginners) to L P romoting Institutional Change2 (advanced).

However, the pilot was small. Results depend upon a variety of factors of which only some can be replicated – the cultural dimension of the organisation will vary. The P romoting Institutional Change development of an organisational culture that articulates the development of learning design in its vision requires particular leadership and top down support for technical development as well as being driven through communities of P romoting Institutional Change practice from the bottom up. Sponsorship from senior management is essential. Support needs to be provided throughout the adoption period of learning technologies and their use with learners, especially as existing P romoting Institutional Change tools are upgraded and new tools introduced. The teachers in this pilot considered that LAMS is a tool which is effective for creating, delivering and enhancing student-centred ESOL lessons.



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Walker, S. (2008). International Baccalaureate E-Learning Laboratory (Ibel). BECTA Research Project Report. Available at [http://partners.becta.org.uk/index. php?section=rh &catcode=_re_rp_02&rid=15656 ], retrieved P romoting Institutional Change 20 March 2009.

Walker, S. & Masterman, L. (2006). ‘Learning Designs and the Development of Study Skills: Reuse and Community Perspectives’. In R. Philip, A. Voerman, & J. Dalziel (Eds.), Proceedings of the First International LAMS Conference P romoting Institutional Change 2006: Designing the Future of Learning, pp. 89-98). Sydney: The LAMS Foundation.

1 e-Learning Independent Study Award (eLISA).

2 e-Learning Independent Design Activities for Collaborative Approaches to the Management of e-Learning.

3 These levels are part of P romoting Institutional Change the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) which sets out the levels against which a qualification is recognised in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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