This article outlines a learning intervention which the authors call Learning by Design. The goal of this intervention is classroom and curriculum transformation, and the professional learning of teachers. The experiment involves the practical application of the learning theory to everyday classroom practice. Its ideas are grounded in pedagogical principles originally articulated in the Multiliteracies project, an approach to teaching and learning that addresses literacy and learning in the context of new media and the globalizing knowledge economy. The need for a new approach to learning arises from a complex range of factors - among them, changes in society and the economy; the potential for new forms of communication made possible by emerging technologies; and rising expectations amongst learners that education will maximize their potential for personal fulfillment, civic participation and access to work. The authors first brought together the Learning by Design team of researchers and teachers in 2003 in order to reflect upon and create new and dynamic learning environments. A series of research and development activities were embarked upon in Australia and, more recently, in the United States, exploring the potentials of new pedagogical approaches, assisted by digital technologies, to transform today's learning environments and create learning for the future - learning environments which could be more relevant to a changing world, more effective in meeting community expectations and which manage educational resources more efficiently. One of the key challenges was to create learning environments which engaged the sensibilities of learners who are increasingly immersed in digital and global lifestyles - from the entertainment sources they choose to the way they work and learn. It was also about enabling teachers to explicitly track and be aware of the relationship between their pedagogical choices and their students' learning outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-222
Number of pages23
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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