Pedagogical models and course design toolkits are often used as a means of producing a course profile and assisting the decision making process. Pedagogical models represent a set of learning theories that can inform us in designing and evaluating courses, learning and assessment activities that meet the desired educational objectives. Toolkits are usually derived from an explicit theoretical framework and used for making explicit the various features of the course. This provides a focus for:
- critical analysis of strengths and weaknesses of a course design (or learning activity
- the suitability of different e-learning tools and media types (in particular the different teacher-student interactions they support alone or in combination),and
- resource issues and local constraints.
In summary, toolkits are predicated on the assumptions that they will be:
- derived from an explicit pedagogical model
- easy-to-use for practitioners
- able to provide demonstrable benefit
- able to provide guidance, without being prescriptive
- adaptable to reflect the user's practice and beliefs
- able to produce guidance that reflect the local context.
The output from profiling and mapping the course design is of value in several ways:
- It provides a focus for debate and judgement about fitness-for-purpose of the mix of techniques proposed/used and potential areas of improvement or alternative strategies.
- It allows assumptions and meaning, which may vary between disciplines and within diverse course teams, to be clarified.
- It makes explicit the relative importance or emphasis on different components of the learning process is useful for both planning and evaluation purposes.
- It provides a focus for debate and judgement about fitness-for-purpose of the mix of techniques proposed/used and can help to identify strengths, weaknesses, limitations and potential areas of improvement or alternative strategies.
- It can assist in course documentation for quality assurance purposes.