Learning design

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draft 1

Editor: Nicolas Balacheff, Laboratoire d’informatique de Grenoble

Contributors: Anne Lejeune, Laboratoire d’informatique de Grenoble


(1) Learning design is the application of learning design knowledge when developing a concrete unit of learning (a course, a lesson, a curriculum).
(2) Learning Design (LD) is a formal specification of learning design, providing a conceptual model for the description of teaching and learning processes. This specification consists of three different items: an information model, a best practice and implementation guide, and an XML binding with a binding document (Kopper and Tattersall 2005).

Comments on the history

The Learning Design (LD) formal specification has been conceived, based on the former Educational Modelling Language (EML), as a response to the need for effective and attractive courses and programs for learners, while at the same time providing a pleasant and effective work environment to those who have the task of developing course materials, planning the learning processes, providing tutoring and assessing performance (Kopper and Tattersall 2005, p.v). The idea of LD originated within the Valkenburg Group in 2002, and was adopted by the IMS consortium in 2003.

Related terms

instructional design, instructional system design

Other related terms
educational modelling language (EML), learning design knowledge

Translation issues


Disciplinary issues

The challenge of the IMS LD formal specification is to ensure a reasonable balance between flexibility and complexity when adapting to the constantly evolving advances of technology enhanced learning research; this especially applies to the increased interest in CSCL and adaptive learning. Beyond its pedagogical objective, IMS LD has the objective of making effective the sharing and reuse of learning design and ensuring interoperability.

Key references

[1] Koper R., Tattersall C. (eds) (2005) Learning design. Berlin: Springer.(Préface|[2])