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Rapid prototyping as an approach to designing online learning

Thursday 4 July: Conference day two, 4:15pm – 4:45pm parallel session



Room 4 – 303-G16, Sem  



Dr Lawrence May
University of Auckland, New Zealand

Dr Bing Mei
University of Auckland, New Zealand

Dr Rena Heap
University of Auckland, New Zealand



Given the increasing demand for online learning at the tertiary level, there currently exists a need to modify and develop instructional design models that can effectively facilitate the collaboration between learning designers and teachers, as well to research the effectiveness of these developments.


The initiative/practice

Against this backdrop, adopting a design-based research approach, we proposed an instructional design model that combines rapid prototyping (Tripp & Bichelmeyer, 1990) and collaborative course development (Hixon, 2008). Accordingly, a two-week ‘Rapid Development Studio’ (an agile, intensive, iterative instructional design process) was carried out.


Method(s) of evaluative data collection and analysis

Following the recommendation of Wang & Hannafin (2014), data from multiple sources were collected in order to seek a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of this dynamic, real-life project. Observations and field notes taken by participants of the Studio during its first, pilot implementation were collated. Additionally, a post-pilot anonymous questionnaire survey was also conducted to seek participants’ reflection. All the collected data were analysed within a thematic analysis framework.


Evidence of effectiveness

Overall, results suggest that the Rapid Development Studio is well perceived among course instructors, learning designers, and project assistants. In this showcase, we present how we started the exploration from initial concept, linked theory to practice and developed the hybrid model. We will also walk through, in practical terms, how the studio can be run and administered by learning designers and academic staff. It is our hope that the model development process documented can stimulate further active exploration of alternative models to improve online course design efficacy in other higher education institutions, and generate more interest in future research on instructional design models.


Presentation topic

Tertiary – New Developments

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