#oldsmooc: asleep at the wheel of a a pdf

Learning Designers can’t do it all. Creating beautiful digital work, with an underlying narrative that links to age specific content, is a specialised field.
I’d like to share with you the best example I’ve come across.  Don’t stress about the mathematics, see if you can understand the message.
Let this video load, enlarge it to fill your screen, turn the sound up full blast, sit back and let it wash all over you.

Source: Cristóbal Vila

Every time I see this video I’m affected by it’s beauty and simplicity of message, from the Fibonacci Sequence to nautilus shells to sunflowers to dragonflies, relationships exist between mathematics and the natural world.

Cristóbal Vila’s message gives students a context in which to make sense of number patterns and geometry.

This exercise from a Year 7 textbook doesn’t.


The mathematics covered in Nature by Numbers ranges from simple to complex, something for everyone. It’s precise and works beautifully with music and 3D animation…how can all of that fall into the job description of a Learning Designer?

So, why am I carrying on about maths and number patterns?

Professor Grainne Conole initiated my thoughts after posting this excellent question during our Week 3 wrap up….

What is the relationship between precision and creativity in learning design?

I stopped, paused and read the recommended reference, all 17 pages in pdf format.

Beauty and Precision: Weaving Complex
Educational Technology Projects with Visual
Instructional Design Languages

 Micheal Derntl et al.

Ever had an experience of driving somewhere, of being aware when familiar places flash past, you know you are heading in the right direction but don’t remember the journey when you got there? I need to give this reference another chance, but heavy text and confusing diagrams just don’t do it for me. It’s content, however, I don’t want to let go.

Weaving this video into a discussion around beauty, precision, instructional design, learning design and education still leaves me with a messy vision of what we are trying to achieve in the #oldsmooc.

That’s great, suits me just fine, we still have 6 weeks to get it sorted.

Addendum: don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating the removal of all pdf files containing academically rigorous content from the online courses we design. Far from it, lets push the boundaries of critical thinking…but please, don’t slap a course together with a truckload of content, available only in written form. Stimulate our senses with art, fill us with joy as we discover things we’ve never seen before and leverage the power of technology to take us beyond the walls of our institutions.

My advice…sign up for a diigo account and file those pdf’s away for future reference.

#oldsmooc Growth in the Answer Garden

Emerging from the answer garden are shoots, some bigger than others. It’s beginning to reveal some clues about people’s perceptions of the meaning of Learning Design.

In my quest for enlightenment, I’ll re “Wordle” at the end of Weeks 6 and 9.

answergarden olds week 3

The size of each word reflects the frequency of answers.

Would you agree with the emphasis placed on these larger words in the context of looking for a definition of Learning Design?