The debate in unit 3 provided the opportunity to consider how design can create opportunities for addressing both subject and knowledge skills to create powerful learning encounters. When considering subject and knowledge integration over different subjects the challenges for faculty are predictable and the need for institutions to support faculty in these efforts become apparent.

The design of the debate provoked subject matter learning and at the same time promoted knowledge skill development, as defined by the Conference Board of Canada (2021) . Tony Bates discusses the growing importance of knowledge or 21st century skills to prepare students for the future of work (2019).

How can we see knowledge skills break down in the debate assignment?

  • Communicating
  • Managing Information
  • Think and Solve Problems
  • Personal Management Skills
  • Working with Others
  • Participating with Projects and Tasks

How can we see the integration of knowledge about the subject in terms of the explicit learning outcomes of this course?

  • Critically argue the implications of participating in learning networks and learning communities.
  • Identify the various features of digital learning environments.
  • Identify the impact of networks and communities on cultures, organizations and society.

When faculty have been hired to teach their subject matter, have inherited lecture style learning and may not have the understanding of design or technologies to create embedded knowledge outcomes with a subject matter focus, institutions need to be prepared to support instructors with design support (OECD, 2018). The group debate assignment is an example of integrating the subject with the knowledge skills through well considered design. Creating the union between subject matter and skills for the knowledge economy is a challenge that institutions need to weigh their commitments to if they are going to meet the needs of the workforce.


Bates, T. (2019) Teaching in a Digital Age: Second Edition. Teach Online.

Conference Board of Canada.(2021) Employability Skills.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2018) Shaping Education Spotlight 15 A Brave New World: Technology and Education.