Rethinking pedagogy

Today I attended a writing workshop in Oxford as part of our production of the second edition of ‘Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age’ (Beetham and Sharpe 2007).  Whereas my chapter in the first edition focused on the DialogPlus learning design tool mainly, in the second edition my chapter will be a review of learning design visualisation tools and pedagogical planners. The plan in today’s session was to collaboratively write the final chapter for the book. Rhona Sharpe and Helen Beetham led the session, also present were Chris Jones and Chris Pegler from the OU, Liz Masterman from Oxford University and Sara De Freitas from Coventry University. We began the day by brainstorming what we thought were the key themes and future challenges for learning and in particular designing for learning. We then worked in pairs, each pair taking one of the emergent themes:

  • Learner design contexts
  • Openness
  • Designing at different levels of progression.


Chris Pegler and I worked on the openness theme. We then spent about 40 minutes working on this. It was an interesting process. Chris typed and I talked and it was interesting to see how our ideas co-developed. We then regrouped and discussed the drafts. It was amazing to see how much everyone had written!

After lunch we worked on a number of trends and challenges facing the future of learning, I focused on the nature and implications of connectivity. Finally, we each envisioned a future scenario, considering what would be the nature and implications of our chosen theme – should it be fully realised. I will blog about each of the three writings in future blogs. It was a creative and productive process; just having to knuckle down and write in a timed session (almost like an exam) was a useful way of getting ideas down on paper. The mixture of individual, pair and group work was very effective. A version of the chapter is also publically available and the wider community has been invited to contribute. These additions will be combined with the drafts we have produced and Rhona and Helen will then have the hard task of trying to develop a coherent narrative. I think this is a lovely example of working openly and I am sure that the final product will be all the better as a result.


Beetham, H. and R. Sharpe (2007). Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital age: Designing and Delivering E-Learning, London: Routledge