Designs for Learning as Springboards for Professional Development in Higher Education

  • Ulla KonnerupEmail author
  • Thomas Ryberg
  • Mia Thyrre Sørensen
Part of the Research in Networked Learning book series (RINL)


The area of Learning Design research holds interesting thoughts and conceptualisations for networked professional development. This chapter identifies some tensions within the broad landscape of Learning Design and more specifically the Larnaca Declaration. Arguing that there are two distinct ideas underpinning the notion of sharing Learning Designs, the terms ‘plans for action’ versus ‘resources for reflection’ are introduced. Further different voices in the field alternating between seeing Learning Design as a means for ‘effectiveness’ versus a means for ‘reflexiveness’ are identified, and two different views of how to empower and support teachers in developing Learning Designs are suggested. Discussing contemporary challenges for networked professional development and asking whether the notions of Learning Design have a tendency to assume that researchers and teachers are designing for relatively well-known problems and contexts. Drawing on conceptualisations from Engeström, it is suggested that Learning Designs also can be viewed as ‘springboards for development’. It is concluded that design and Learning Designs should not only be thought of as predefined design ideas or as incremental exploration based on retrospective reflections on existing courses but also can conceptualise Learning Designs as dynamic, experimental opportunities for the collective design of new practices or what we term ‘springboards for development’.


Design patterns Designing for learning Higher education Learning Design Resources for reflection 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulla Konnerup
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Ryberg
    • 1
  • Mia Thyrre Sørensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Aalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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