Toolset 4 – Designing Innovative Learning Activities

This toolset guides you through the process of taking Future Classroom Scenarios and using them as the inspiration for creating innovative Learning Activities with the intention of bringing advanced approaches in learning and teaching, supported by technology, to the classroom.

Future classroom scenarios are intended to act as a vision of what may be possible and desirable for the future of learning and teaching in your school. To make these visions a reality a group of teachers should work together to create a set of Learning Activities, which include the innovative ideas in a realistic and practical context. A Learning Activity could be something that happens in a single lesson or may take place over several lessons. An example of a Learning Activity could be creating a video, or working outside of school to collect data or images.

The video below gives an overview of the relationship between Future Classroom Scenarios and Learning Activities. It also introduces a third and final concept, the Learning Story.

The starting point for designing a Learning Activity, is to select, or create a suitable Future Classroom Scenario (see Toolset 3). You then need to arrange some time with a group of teachers to collaboratively design the Learning Activity. This could be done in a half-day workshop, or over several days. It's important that you work with other teachers to do this in order to share ideas and inspiration.

The toolset also provides several resources that will help you identify learning technologies and other resources you can include in your Learning Activity.

User stories

Francesca Panzica, a primary school teacher in northern Italy, describes how the use of Future Classroom Learning Activities, created in the iTEC project, has benefited her students learning.

In another example from Italy, pupils at Liceo Chris Cappell, a secondary school in Anzio, followed Future Classroom Learning Activities to create video presentations, or 'book trailers', for the books that they were studying in English class.

The tools in this toolset

  • Tool 4.1 – Learning Activity Design: This document provides guidance on running a workshop to design innovative Learning Activities, based on Future Classroom Scenarios. It also includes the template for creating and sharing Learning Activities.
  • Tool 4.2 – Technologies for Learning Activities: A link to tools and resources that can be used for Learning Activities. This uses a selection of popular Learning Activities and identifies a number of technologies that have been successfully used in the classroom.
  • Tool 4.3 – Learning Resource Recommender: This prototype tool has been developed to act as a recommendation service for teachers, to help them discover a range of learning tools and resources available from the internet.
  • Tool 4.4 – Learning Designer: This online tool can be used as an alternative approach for designing Learning Activities. It is more advanced than the template in Tool 4.1
  • Tool 4.5 – iTEC Prototypes for Learning Design: Within the iTEC project a number of tools were created to support teachers create Learning Activities and find new kinds of resources, including people and events.

Background Learning Activity design

The creation and use of innovative Learning Activities within the iTEC project is described in the projects research output "Final Report on iTEC Prototyping".