Category: Week 14 to 15

Week 14 to 15 – Activity 9: Agreeing on the challenge

Timing: 3–5 hours

  • Post a message to your team forum, proposing a definition of the design challenge of your project. Phrase your proposal in terms of the concerns it addresses and the tensions it needs to resolve between forces.
  • Review and respond to the proposals offered by your team mates.

Team leader

  • Use a shared document, and synthesise the proposals of your team members, to suggest a common definition of your design challenge.
  • Use the forum or schedule a live, online session to discuss this definition.
  • Once a consensus is reached, post it to the ‘Challenge’ page of your website.
  • Embed the web address of the ‘Background’ page of your project site into the discussion thread in the tutor group forum. Invite other teams to visit your site, and send a message to your tutor group forum to inform other students that you have done so.

Team members

  • Visit other teams’ websites to review their context and challenge pages. Leave your comments in their discussion threads in the forum.
  • Respond to any comments on your own team’s discussion thread.

Week 14 to 15 – Activity 8: Reflection

Timing: 1 hour (optional)

  • Reflect on:
    1. Your contribution to the group effort of articulating the context.
    2. What you found challenging in this process.
    3. What you have learned from it.

You may add this to your learning journal if you wish.

Week 14 to 15 – Activity 7: List the forces

Timing: 2 hours

Tip: Check you are logged in to OU Google Apps before trying to access any of the links to Sites or Docs.

  • Use either of the following templates to create a system of forces document:
  • Review the factors and concerns listed in the team’s shared document, and select the key forces that define the design space.
  • List these forces in your system of forces document. Give each force a number or identifier, and (optionally) an icon.
  • Use your team forum, or schedule a live, online session (using OU Live, Skype or Google Hangouts) to discuss and compare your lists of forces.
  • Create sub-pages for the team members’ documents, and include a summary of the discussion in the context page.
  • Visit other teams’ websites and consider their lists of forces. Offer feedback through the other teams’ discussion forums and reflect on any feedback you receive from other teams.

Week 14 to 15 – Activity 6: Listing factors and concerns

Timing: 2 hours

Tip: Check you are logged in to OU Google Apps before trying to access any of the links to Sites or Docs.

Team leader

Team members

  • Revisit the persona page you created earlier and list all the factors and concerns that are relevant to your personas.
  • Then edit the team’s shared ‘Factors and concerns’ document by listing any factors and concerns you have identified that have not already been listed by others, and add your initials next to them. Your team mates may have come up with similar factors and concerns from their personas. If you notice that others have already listed any factors and concerns that appear on your list, add your initials next to them.
  • Visit other teams’ websites and consider their lists of factors and concerns. Offer feedback through the other teams’ discussion forums and reflect on any feedback you receive from other teams.

Week 14 to 15 – Activity 5: Create and share personas

Timing: 5 hours

Tip: Check you are logged in to OU Google Apps before trying to access any of the links to Sites or Docs.

  • Reflect on your understanding of the domain in which the project will be implemented. Each team member should create one or two personas of actors in this domain – individuals who will participate in, be affected by, or have a stake in, your innovation. Use one of the templates below:
  • Create a page called ‘<your name>’s personas’ in the ‘Context’ section (see ‘Background’) of your project site and post your persona cards to this page. If you create your persona cards as Google docs you can embed them into this page. Alternatively, you can upload them as attached files, or copy and paste the information on your persona cards to this page for easy viewing by your team mates. Advice on creating a page, embedding a file and attaching documents can be found in the block’s guide to OU Google Apps.
  • Send a message to your team forum, notifying your team mates that you have posted your personas. Include a link to your personas’ page.
  • Review one or two personas posted by your team mates. Comment on them, noting how they could help inform the design, any differences from your personas, and also any ambiguities, inconsistencies or any other issues you may have noticed.
  • Respond to comments from your team mates. Consider:
    • What are the similarities and differences between the personas you proposed and those that your team mates have contributed?
    • What have you learned from this exercise about your design space and about the design process?
  • Visit other teams’ websites and consider their personas. Offer feedback through the other teams’ discussion forums and reflect on any feedback you receive from other teams.


Completed. Persona copied here.


To illustrate this task, here’s a persona we constructed of an imaginary H817 student. This persona is based on a survey of MAODE tutors.

Example Persona Card

Clipart image of girl in wheelchair
Name: Ali Dickson

Gender: Female

Age: 52

Lives in: Maidenhead with partner, 2 kids and a cat.

Likes: Drawing, reading, sailing. She has paraplegia.

Education and experience Holds an MA in Professional Development, Education and Training from Swansea Met. Takes occasional short courses as opportunities arise. Recent courses in CRM and website development.

15 years in staff development, first 10 at East Berkshire College and for the last 5 at Bucks new university.

Role and responsibilities Designs and delivers staff development courses at Bucks new university.
Technical skills Very good at using office applications, has reasonable confidence in website building and other web skills (e.g. searching) and good command of general utilities, but wary of web 2.0 technologies such as blogging and social networking.
Subject domain skills and knowledge Uses the college’s VLE to support the staff training courses she designs and delivers, and the college Intranet to advertise them and recruit participants.
Motivation and desires Degree-educated but hasn’t taken an HE level course for a while and is conscious of being overtaken by younger and more knowledgeable peers. She is aware of the potential of new technologies in education but finds the sector very intimidating.
Goals and expectations To professionalise her practice around educational technology and to understand the possibilities better.
Obstacles to their success Often very traditional in outlook – content-oriented, worried about organisational aspects, rule-centred. Finds innovation fraught with problems of an organisational and administrative nature.
Unique assets Sceptical, in a positive way – good at asking challenging questions, not accepting things at face value.

Week 14 to 15 – Activity 4: Set up your team website

Timing: 3 hours

If you encounter any difficulties with this activity please consult our guide to OU Google Apps.

Tip: Always make sure you have logged in to OU Google Apps via your StudentHome page before trying to access any of the links to Sites or Docs.

  • Create the site: Team leader – visit the ‘Create site page’ (where the Learning Design Project site template will be pre-selected for you), provide a name for your site and click ‘Create’. It may take a few minutes for the system to generate your site, so don’t worry. You should bookmark your site, but you should always be able to find it in the ‘Sites’ area.
  • Share with team members: Team leader – share the site with all team members by clicking the ‘Share’ button and listing all team members as owners. You will need your team members’ OU computer user name for this (i.e. – use the tutor group forum to ask them for this information. Advice on how to share sites is available in our guide to OU Google Apps.Send the link to the project site to your team mates and invite them to create their individual team pages in the ‘About’ section.
  • Populate: Each team member should create a team member page, where you present yourself and your vision for the project. Click ‘About’ and then ‘Team’. Follow the instructions there to create your page.
    • Team leader: Edit the front page of your site (the ‘Welcome’ page) and provide a brief description of your team’s intentions, based on your understanding of the discussion on the tutor group forum. Briefly note the aims of the project and its target audience. This page will be the first view of your project that other students of the module will see. Send a message to the tutor group forum, notifying your team members that a draft of the front page is available.
    • Team members: Review the text that your team leader has placed on the front page and edit it if you find that necessary. Use the team forum to discuss any points you are uncertain about.
  • Open up: Team leader – after the team has reached a consensus regarding the content of the front page, click the ‘Share’ button at the top right of the screen. Change the visibility setting from ‘Private’ to ‘People at The Open University with the link’.
  • Share with the H817 community: Team leader – post the web address of your project website in the tutor group forum. Ask your tutor to make the other teams aware of the website’s location, and set up a discussion thread for other teams to offer feedback to your team.
  • Review: Each team member should review the sites of other teams. The Learning Design Studio approach is based on sharing your work with the other teams so that there is a plentiful supply of feedback to help you improve your design. It is therefore important both to offer feedback to your colleagues and to welcome other people’s comments.


Done by Katherine. Available here:

Week 14 to 15 – Activity 3: Role allocation

Timing: 2 hours

  • Using the group forum, or an online meeting place (e.g. Skype, OU Live or Google Hangouts), agree on the roles in your team and their assignment. Consider the following options:
    • Team leader: schedules and chairs team discussions, proposes a division of tasks among team members, resolves tensions within the team, communicates the project progress to your tutor and other interested parties.
    • Project manager: monitors task progress, identifies risks and alerts the team to any deviation from the project plans.
    • Media manager: manages the project site and any other communication channels.
    • Other roles you suggest or deem necessary depending on group size.