What is Learner-Enabling Design?

Learner-enabling design is where we optimise our learning environments to build students’ capacity to confidently and capably manage their own learning and enable all students to succeed to the best of their ability. Learner-Enabling Design involves ways to enhance students’ capabilities to prepare them to be autonomous, productive, creative and critical civic agents in the complex world of work and society. This involves designing opportunities to enable development of students’ higher-order abilities to: 

  • make judgements about the quality of their own work 
  • seek, receive, and give feedback 
  • critically inquire, learn, make decisions, and create actions towards solving a wide range of problems 
  • productively collaborate with others in the complex world of work and society 

Why is Learner-Enabling Design important?

As educators, learner-enabling design requires a commitment to authentically engage with our students such that we optimise their capacity to be efficacious lifelong learners.

  • Principle 1: Meet the learners where they are to promote growth.
  • Principle 2: Engage the learners in the process of learning.
  • Principle 3: Align your course elements to optimise Principles (1) and (2)

Designing our courses in ways that ‘get out of the learner’s way’ means that we deliberately analyse and ensure that our course design helps, and does not hinder learning towards achieving the intended higher order capabilities.

Getting in the learner’s way’, means that we design our courses in ways that support students to understand what is good quality work and learning. We can then build on this developed understanding and focus on designing in ways that create opportunities to deepen our students’ higher order capabilities. 

Course Design Standards

5. LEARNER-ENABLING DESIGN

We optimise our learning environments to build our students' capacity to confidently and capably manage their own learning and enable all of our students to succeed to the best of their ability.

What digital tools might be useful?

Digital tools you might consider include those that enable reflective learning and seeking, giving or receiving feedback, for example:

Where could I learn more?