Second edition of Rethinking Pedagogy

Today there is cause for a small celebration, as I handed over the manuscript for the second edition of Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age (which is just as well as I see it’s already available on Amazon!). I’m grateful to all the authors who have engaged not just with revisiting and rewriting their chapters, but also with our peer review and collaborative writing processes over the past nine months or so.

As before, Rethinking Pedagogy isn’t a ‘how to’ guide, it’s a critical discussion of the issues surrounding the design, sharing and reuse of learning activities. We do however offer tools that you might use, or encourage others to use. Our aim is to bring the insights of learning design into the educational process, and to extend the repertoire of tools and techniques in everyday use.

So, what’s changed in this new edition? First, we found that much of the work that has advanced in the five years since the first edition is concerned with understanding design as a set of contextualized practices. There are new chapters from Liz Masterman, and from Shirley Agostinho & colleagues, which draw on empirical evidence to explore how teachers are designing for learning in practice.

Second, we’ve seen an increase in the number and development of tools and resources to support and visualize the design process. Grainne Conole provides an updated chapter giving a comprehensive overview of these tools and resources.  Although representations of designs and planning tools are now available, we have found that actually design for learning is a much less rational process than we thought it would be in the time of the first edition. Although we found quite widespread use of broad design principles, design turns out to be a creative activity.  Our ways of supporting it then have shifted towards ways of sharing resources and designs within communities of designers and course teams. We have a new chapter from Chris Pegler on open educational resources and James Dalziel updates us on the LAMS community.

There’s still a focus on designing learning activities though, with resources for practitioners, which proved to be useful previously. Helen Beetham has rewritten her chapter and resources on learning activity design to reflect our increasing understanding of the role of the learner in defining and making meaning from the activities they engage in – a theme picked up later in the book by Joss Winn & Dean Lockwood. There is a cracking new chapter from Peter Goodyear and Lucilla Carvalho describing an architecture for learning systems, which challenges us to think beyond learning activity design to a more holistic view of designing for learning.

Some of these issues are explored in our online course ‘Designing online courses’, which has Rethinking Pedagogy as its set textbook. The next run of this course is October 2012.

So, at this point in time, having studied each chapter in far too much detail for the past few weeks, I’m feeling relieved that it’s done… and frustrated that I still keep spotting typos in the manuscript!


Here’s the full chapter list…

An introduction to rethinking pedagogy

Helen Beetham and Rhona Sharpe



Technology enhanced learning: the role of theory

Terry Mayes and Sara de Freitas


Designing for active learning in technology-rich contexts

Helen Beetham


The analysis of complex learning environments

Peter Goodyear and Lucila Carvalho


The challenge of teachers’ design practice

Liz Masterman


Tools and resources to guide practice

Gráinne Conole


Describing ICT-based learning designs that promote quality learning outcomes

Ron Oliver, Barry Harper, Sandra Wills, Shirley Agostinho and John Hedberg


Learning designs as a stimulus and support for teachers’ design practices

Shirley Agostinho, Sue Bennett, Lori Lockyer, Jennifer Jones and Barry Harper


Representing practitioner experiences through learning designs and patterns

Patrick McAndrew and Peter Goodyear


The influence of open resources on design practice

Chris Pegler


Designing for learning in course teams

Rhona Sharpe and Martin Oliver


The art of design

Derek Harding and Bruce Ingraham


Activity designs for professional learning

Rachel Ellaway


Designing for practice: a view from social science

Chris Jones


Student as producer is hacking the university

Joss Winn and Dean Lockwood


The LAMS community: building communities of designers

James Dalziel


Design principles for mobile learning

Agnes Kukulska-Hulme and John Traxler


Designing for learning in an uncertain future

Helen Beetham

About the author



To support the University’s mission through the provision of high quality internal and external staff and educational development, and to undertake research and publish in those areas.

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