Unit 2, Activity 1 – Design Tools


Mindmap created at Mindmeister


To display my design tools I created a mindmap using Boling and Gray’s categories (2015, as cited in Lachheb & Boling, 2017). This process was interesting in that it forced consideration of my design strategies rather than my usual instinctual process. As far as methods, my teacher training, mostly included starting with the end task or outcome, similar to McTighe’s Backwards Design Model described by Moore (2016). Other than that formal training, teachers are mostly left to their own devices. As I’ve been teaching for several years many of the processes of design are fluid and ingrained.

In reflecting on my practice in learning design, I see that the collaboration piece is more substantial than I would have originally assumed. Also, I find that most of my choices are situational, rather than rationalist, as divided by Lachheb and Boling (2018). In part, this more of a result of pragmatism in choosing tools that are accessible in the sense of availability and ease-of-use for students and teachers alike.

This process has also shown that much of my design process is around adapting, streamlining, and standardizing courses taken from the Western Canada’s Learning Network. In the DL school I work at, we value standardization and consistency within our program to limit student frustrations and increase the predictability of the course. There are many working parts to the design process and so the mind map above is just one snapshot.


Lachheb, A., & Boling, E. (2018). Design tools in practice: instructional designers report which tools they use and whyJournal of Computing in Higher Education30(1), 34-54.

Moore, R. L. (2016). Developing distance education content using the TAPPA processTechTrends60(5), 425–432.