In Support of Excellence

It's all about the students

The Padagogy Wheel: Learning Design starts with graduate attributes, capabilities and motivation

Wheel only Padagogy Wheel V4.0

  • PadWheel V4 thumbnailDOWNLOAD THE LATEST VERSION: V4 published Mar 2015.  This PDF Poster has links to 122 of the latest and most popular educational apps.  Now these resources are available in 19 different languages.  The poster also has app selection criteria according to Blooms taxonomy.  It could provide the backbone of a complete course or seminar on Learning Design. If you would like help with this please just ask.  It also prints well as an A3 poster. With QR Codes linking to more online resources.  You are also encouraged to print it out for use in your college or school.

I am still a little numb at the amazing interest in, and discussion about, the Padagogy Wheel from teachers and educators around the world. It is only a week since I published my last blog post “The Padagogy Wheel V2.0: It’s all about transformation and integration“. and the poster is at 8000 downloads and 500-800 people visit the blog a day and about 300 tweets a day as well.. I owe a sincere thank you to Jeff Dunn and the team at Edudemic for the encouraging first article “Integrate iPads Into Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy With This ‘Padagogy Wheel’”  then the second blog post “New Padagogy Wheel Helps You Integrate Technology Using SAMR Model”  The second article really did whip up an interest storm. I think you will appreciate the posts.

So why yet another version only one week later? Well out of the buzz about V2.0 came a suggestion that I couldn’t lay down, it ran around my head for days. A good friend said, “You know motivation is also at the core of the Wheel … how would that work?” Add to this line of thinking the fact that it seems all the excitement is about how Blooms interacts with the SAMR model and no one seems to be talking about the core of the wheel – Graduate Attributes and Capabilities. I wanted to upgrade the communication about the core concepts of the wheel so nobody missed their importance.

Prof Geoff Scott from UWSGraduate Attributes and Capabilities: Without this your learning design will drift. A major ah aha for me was when Prof Geoff Scott, the Executive Director of Sustainability at University of Western Sydney (UWS), was introduced as a keynote speaker at a Learning and Teaching Conference at the University of Adelaide in 2012. It was in during that presentation Geoff introduced research they had done within the business sector. They had asked CEO’s and executives …. the people that do the hiring, what they desired to see in graduates from Higher Education programs. When he introduced us to the top 15 requested capabilities, there was almost an audible gasp. Most of these are heart attitudes and values based. There was even more exclamation when we realised that most of them were not actively targeted by our courses. The top 15 are

  1. Having energy, passion and enthusiasm
  2. Being willing to give credit to others
  3. Empathising & working productively with diversity
  4. Being transparent and honest in dealings with others
  5. Thinking laterally and creatively
  6. Being true to one’s values and ethics
  7. Listening to different points of view before coming to a decision
  8. Understanding personal strengths & limitations
  9. Time management skills
  10. Persevering
  11. Learning from errors
  12. Learning from experience
  13. Remaining calm when under pressure
  14. Being able to make effective presentations to different groups
  15. Identifying from a mass of information the core issue/opportunity

These capabilities should be identified as part of our graduate attributes and woven into the fabric of our courses in the activity design. We need to have transformation at the core of what we do as teachers if it is all about the students. Don’t jump into learning outcomes, activity design and choosing technology without first reflecting on graduate attributes and capabilities then how to improve motivation and engagement. Skip these and your course design will be weaker for it.

Please visit the blog post and listen to the podcast episode at: “If you exercise these capabilities.. you will be employed!

The Puzzle of Motivation: Teachers use the term engagement all the time. Engagement is about motivation. If students are not motivated learning will not happen. As I researched about motivation I discovered this TEDtalk …. of course 2.5 million others knew about it first, which naturally raised my interest. As I watched it, lights went on big time. “Ah Aha! These concepts are a grid to help people improve learning activity design and they have to go into the wheel” – V3.0 was born.

Dan Pink shows what science knows about motivation and what business does about it are largely mismatched. He presents a very strong case for a rethink about motivation in business and offers a new approach and model for the 21st century. It is built around intrinsic motivations. He introduces the elements which he says are the building blocks of a completely new operating system for businesses.

  • AUTONOMY: The urge to direct our own lives
  • MASTERY: The desire to get better and better at something that matters
  • PURPOSE: The yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

Dan expands on the concept of Autonomy.and introduces examples of three levels of application of this type of motivation. “Fedex Days” where staff have to deliver outcomes overnight then “The 20 Percent time” … done famously at Google. Finally the “Results Only Work Environment or ROWE” where he compares the motivation and implementation for two models of encyclopedia i.e. Encarta and Wikipedia.

Please watch this video and think about how you build curriculum, how to facilitate your courses and how to motivate tomorrows students to become all they can be as leaders that make a difference. Could this model of motivation change the way we build curriculum and teach courses – I believe used as part of the Padagogy Wheel it will go a long way in the hands of passionate teachers. Please post your comments and suggestions for new apps.

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The Padagogy Wheel: It’s all about transformation and integration

Wheel only Padagogy Wheel V4.0

PadWheel V4 thumbnailDOWNLOAD THE LATEST VERSION: V4 published Mar 2015.  This PDF Poster has links to 122 of the latest and most popular educational apps.  Now these resources are available in 19 different languages.  The poster also has app selection criteria according to Blooms taxonomy.  It could provide the backbone of a complete course or seminar on Learning Design. If you would like help with this please just ask.  It also prints well as an A3 poster. With QR Codes linking to more online resources.  You are also encouraged to print it out for use in your college or school.

V4.0 was published in March 2015 but I knew I was onto something useful when I first put the Padagogy Wheel together in July 2012. It was always designed to be a starting point to be developed further. It was originally meant to be an aid for my face-to-face PADAGOGY seminars which are mentioned in my post “The Padagogy Wheel … it’s a Bloomin’ Better way to Teach“.  I have introduced over 600 university faculty staff to iPads in Learning and Teaching in about 20 universities in five countries in the last 3 years … I have talked a lot about iPads and can speak with some authority when I say that many teachers start at the wrong end of the process and try to work out how to use the features of the latest cool app and then think out what pedagogies will fit it.  The motivation for the Padagogy Wheel was “How do we show teachers that the pedagogy should drive the technology and not the other way around?  I am thrilled that in the first three weeks of May 2013 the Wheel poster was downloaded 6500 times and this blog is averaging 1000 visits a day at the time of publishing this post.

So why the need for Version 2.0? What are the changes, and is it worth downloading again? I will share some of my thinking and the “ah ahas”

We need to have transformation at the core of what we do: If it is all about the students, where do you start with curriculum and/or teaching design – surely it is with what do you want your graduates to look like?  i.e. what sort of capabilities and attributes should they have at the completion of your program or course. In the podcast episode “If you exercise these capabilities.. you will be employed!”  Prof Geoff Scott of UWS lists 15 graduate capabilities research has shown are requested by business.  These are all about transformational teaching and learning and one of the major “ah ahas” for me is that these capabilities are for the most part not targeted by our courses and programs in universities and colleges. Ask yourself the question “How many of these 15 capabilities I could confidently say are embedded in or even just touched on by the learning outcomes in my course”? To help teachers graduate attributes and capabilities are now at the core of the Padagogy Wheel V2.0 … The hope is teachers will reflect on these often when building curriculum and actually teaching and work out how they can build activities to help students excel as graduates in their chosen professions.

SAMRdiagramTechnology integration into the fabric of learning and teaching: is where we should be heading with all we do as teachers.  We need to ask ourselves are we using the technology to its best advantage to empower students to be all they can be or do we just use it because everyone’s doing it. How to best think about integrating technology and maximising its impact was really stretched when I met Dr P. as we call him in the Apple Distinguished Educator Community.  Dr Ruben Puentedura developed the SAMR Model, which is of great help when designing activities to support learning outcomes.  Consider it a grid to filter your choices made with help of the wheel.  Think about how you can design activities to not just use technology as substitution but to incorporate redefinition as much as possible. Much has been written about this model and incorporating it as a filter on the outside of the Padagogy Wheel V2.0 will I think help teachers come up with some innovative outcomes and activities that improve student engagement.

Finally, can you help with V3.0?:  There’s more we can do with this concept.  Mobile learning and the use of tablets are fuelling a heap of new and useful apps to help learning and teaching. How do we keep the wheel up-to-date?  Of course apps can also sit in more than one cognitive domain and I encourage teachers to think outside the box when choosing apps for activities. Not just adding and/or replacing new apps but there is the strength of combining two or more apps into learning sequences or activity flows and the outcomes learnt from using them this way. e.g. If I combine App A. with App B. and have students complete these activities using both these apps, do we get increased student engagement and much stronger learning outcomes?  If we do, then does this help transform the learners?  Also how do we gather and share lesson plan exemplars and the best practice creative use of App sequences to achieve higher order thinking from the learners? Wouldn’t these activity sequences be helpful to many teachers in the form of templates?

Please join in the conversation with your ideas and comments using the comments area of this blog.

Online Resources

  1. PADAGOGY WHEEL V2.0: This is a web page with a larger image of the wheel with iPad Apps hotlinked to iTunes Preview pages – published 280513
  2. PADAGOGY 101 What’s all the fuss about iPads in HE: This is an introduction to the iPad and contains reference to 29 iPad Apps from Document Readers to Project Management and links to 12 Video tutorials URL:
  3. PADAGOGY 201 It’s a Bloomin’ Better Way to Teach: This seminar gives ideas of the latest use of the Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy and how the iPad can serve the pedagogy. It has reference to 62 apps with 18 video based tutorials.  URL:
  4. INTRODUCTION TO THE PADAGOGY WHEEL: A 2 minute video introduction to how the wheel works. URL:
  5. THE PADAGOGY WHEEL POSTER: Please note this poster is now Version 2.0 a major upgrade of the original Padagogy Wheel. This has been requested by many … it is a larger format PDF file. The apps are still linked and will look acceptable when printed as an A3 size poster if required.  URL:

Creative Commons License
The Padagogy Wheel by Allan Carrington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.  Based on a work at

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The Benefits of Scenario-Based Learning … the New Instructional Design

As a kid, my ultimate Christmas present was a Davy Crockett coonskin hat, the ones with the tails, remember? :-)  At the end of 2012 when I leant about a conference being held in a hotel across the road from the Alamo in Texas I have to confess I thought it was the coolest location I’ve heard of in 10 years.  Of course it being the Second Immersive Learning Conference and Symposium, focusing on a pedagogical approach I have been passionate about for 9 years also helped.

kenspero_leftI made contact with Ken Spero, a Senior Strategist with The Regis Company, and who helped design and launch the Immersive Learning University (ILU).  The ILU hosted the conference and thanks to his support I was able to attend.  This podcast episode recorded on SKYPE is with Ken who actually is in Philadelphia USA with me in Adelaide South Australia. Ken has been thought leading, teaching, promoting and supporting Scenario-based eLearning (aka Immersive Learning) for almost 25 years. His experience and understanding of the subject is awesome and you need to listen to the podcast a couple of times at least.

I asked Ken the question, “What are the benefits of Scenario-Based Learning” and in this podcast episode he unpacks the following seven benefits. I encourage you to reflect on these and think about your own teaching opportunities:

  1. They are a Form of Storytelling:  A couple of notable quotes from the podcast are “If we don’t have a motivated and engaged student we have nothing” and “Harness the energy of a good story into our learning applications and we have more freedom to achieve our learning outcomes”. Ken also talks about the mother-in-law example from his booklet, how everybody can relate and so people remember. What are your thoughts on these concepts? Please use the comments area below. I also asked Ken if educators need to be good storytellers and his answer and it’s rationale is quite an “ah aha”
  2. motherinlawfinalThey Engage Our Emotions: We talk about remembering and retrieving. Long term and short term memory.
  3. They Enable “Failing Forward”: We discussed if the concept of “failing is not an option” is needed in learning, about how giving students a chance to fail helps them build capacity to fix their mistakes as they would in real –life situations.
  4.  They Promote Critical Thinking:  Ken talks about context and the need for thinking and the process of judgment. We touch on the big question of “Is scenario-based learning good for all disciplines in higher education?” Ken gives a fascinating example from the teaching of history.
  5. They Accelerate Time: We discuss how the learning designer can use simulations to compress time to help the learner make a decision, implement it and experience its consequences all within the same exercise.
  6. They Provide Shared Context:  Ken returns to the power of the shared story and how it impacts the learner and we discuss the profound idea that simulations may be a better way to train and may accelerate community building or bonding between people and improve morale … go listen and comment on that idea please, we would love you to join the conversation.
  7. They Trigger Our Memories: Ken refers to studies on how the brain works and how simulations can create linkages.

We encourage you to listen to this podcast episode carefully and reflect on how you might use scenario-based elearning in your discipline. Also please join the conversation in the comments below and if you would like to email either Ken or me Allan we would be happy to hear from you.

Podcast Episode:

Online Resources

  • Scenario-Based E-Learning: Ken Spero, ASTD INFOline series Oct 2012
    Allan’s comment: This is a 16 pg. booklet published by ASTD targeted at and priced for the corporate marketplace. It sells for U$25.00. Ken mentioned a one off entry.  I was not able to check that for when I went to this search page, I visited a different one of the results and am now locked out.  Please take care on your first visit if you want to see the book
  • Learning’s Hierarchy of Tools: Addressing Transactional Need Through Experiential Simulation: In this article Ken talks about a model he calls “Learning’s Hierarchy of Tools  and models it on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs … well worth a read
  • Three Keys to Designing Good Scenarios: This is a short article but touches on three important tips for designing good scenarios
  • ASTD Philadelphia E-Learning SIG Presentation Capturing and Deploying Experience Through Simulations with Ken Spero:  This was a presentation Ken made at the ASTD in Philadelphia on Thu Sept 20th 2012. There are a good set of PowerPoint slides here for downloading.
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A Passion for Immersive Learning … a Nine-Year Journey

Passion for IL blog entry imageLearning (and teaching, such as it is) is not a process of communication, but rather, a process of immersion. Put loosely, it suggests the idea of teaching not by telling or even demonstrating but rather through the creation (or identification) of an environment into which a learner is immersed”.

Stephen Downes (July 1 2006)

I re-discovered the above quote on a one of my seminar slides made back in 2006 while thinking about this podcast episode and blog post. Profound stuff and it was in fact 2004, when I received an unexpected email from someone who subsequently became a good friend and colleague meeting face-to-face 1.5 years later, after regular weekly Skype chats and collaborative projects together.  Dr Randall Kindley from Minnesota USA introduced me to what we called then Scenario-Based Learning (SBL), Situational Learning (SL), Simulations, eSims, Role Plays and Games.  This was all describing a methodology now becoming of age, which is often called Immersive Learning (IL).

The interest and energy around the campus was building steadily fueled by our work with Sheila Kavanagh OAM, a colleague and awarded burns nurse for her help in the 2002 Bali Bombings Disaster. Together we built an early example of immersive learning called the “Disaster Down Under”   to help if such a tragedy ever happened again.  In 2005 Randall visited Adelaide for a series of seminars and workshops.   I can remember vividly how much trouble we had trying to find software to serve the need for what is called branching.  IL works by presenting a learning with the 3C’s Challenges, Choices and Consequences   Back then the only affordable way we could find handling branching was Moodle and that was in its early stages. Everyone realized the potential of IL but as learning designers/educators it was a challenge to support the methodology with interactive learning modules or software managed processes.

We were devastated in 2006 when we heard Randall had a massive heart attack without notice and had died – educational research lost a pioneering thought leader. However his legacy has lived on in Adelaide and he would be thrilled at knowing that today the technology has caught up to the pedagogical needs and it is a new day for IL.

Randall Kindley photoIn this blog entry I have listed the available links to the work of Randall and it wont take you long to realize how far ahead of the wave his thinking was – spend some time listening and reading … your teaching may never be the same again.

In 2007 while on a trip to the USA I was introduced to a software product called Simwriter.  It was in its early development as well so I have been tracking it’s progress ever since. Late in 2012 I received from NexLearn the publishers, notification about an exciting new development in IL.  The Immersive Leaning University  (ILU) was having a Conference and Symposium in San Antonio TX in Jan 2013.  Thanks to some significant prize money from 2012, I was able to attend and it was really worth it.  My passion for IL has been rekindled and now “we have the technology!”. I am now exploring, learning and developing with  three major software offerings

Simwriter Simplicity  , Articulate Storyline  and the cloud based Zebrazapps  In future episodes I will be unpacking this software and sharing insights.  I am also excited to be able to talk to some of today’s pioneers in pushing IL forward and publishing them as episodes… stay tuned.

Please join me in this journey and share your examples of Immersive Learning and how it helped achieve outcomes in transformative education.

The Heritage of a Prophet: Dr Randall Kindley’s Legacy

  1. The New Instructional Design: Situational Learning. The complete presentation as published using the early Articulate Pro software in 2005
  2. Distaster Down Under Scenario-based Learning: Burns Nurse Planning experience published in 2005
  3. Journal Article:The Power of Simulation-based e-Learning (SIMBeL)” (2002)
  4. Online Magazine Article: “Scenario-Based e-Learning (SBeL): A Step Beyond Traditional E-Learning We All Can Take” (2002)
  5. The Situational Learning Cycle: Foundation of Simulation Learning. “Part 1: Identifying and Combining Appropriate Learning Technologies” (2003)

Immersive Learning Today: Tools and Resources

  1. Simwriter Simplicity
  2. Articulate Storyline
  3. Zebrazapps
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