Design Alchemy pp 197-210 | Cite as

Activities and Assessment

  • Roderick Sims
Part of the Educational Communications and Technology: Issues and Innovations book series (ECTII, volume 8)


A central component of the Design Alchemy framework is the creation of learner-centred activities and assessments. In the numerous asynchronous online courses I have encountered, the activities presented revolve around the discussion forum, and even though learning management systems provide a wide range of tools, it is the discussion forum which often predominates, largely I suspect because discussion is between people and designers equate that to the perceived benefit of online collaboration, even though a discussion is only one way in which course participants might interact. This chapter provides three examples of how the mind-set of the design alchemist can impact on the way learning activities and assessments are reconsidered. The first details the transformation of a discussion to a role-play and the richness that resulted in terms of engagement, contribution and enjoyment for course participants. The second illustrates the way assessment criteria can be repurposed to explicitly focus on the learning outcomes, while the third represents a demonstration of the ways in which a course created with Design Alchemy might look in an online environment. Although there are numerous examples of role-play strategies, assessment rubrics and online design in the educational design literature, these examples highlight the importance of design focusing on the learner and the learning outcomes.


Learning Outcome Online Discussion Discussion Forum Learn Management System Online Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Alexander, S., & Boud, D. (2001). Learners still learn from experience. In J. Stephenson (Ed.), Teaching & learning online: Pedagogies for new technologies. London: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
  2. Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  3. Salmon, G. (2013). E-tivities: The key to active online learning (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roderick Sims
    • 1
  1. 1.KnowledgecraftWoodbumAustralia

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