2018 Learning Design Summit

Monday, July 23 through Thursday, July 26, 2018

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Join us this summer for our Learning Design Summit where this year’s theme is Modern Learners, Modern Schools.

Come to the Learning Design Summit for the forward-thinking conversations and people.

Leave with modern learning practices to implement in your courses, classrooms, and schools.

The Learning Design Summit is a global community of educators. You will be exposed to new ideas in education, and have the time to apply them to your work as an educator– in your courses, classrooms, and schools. This yearly program brings together teachers, coaches, and school leaders from around the world together in an intimate setting to dive more deeply into modern learning design.

At the Learning Design Summit, we are all learners. For GOA Faculty and educators, you will walk away with modern learning practices that are directly transferable to your work with students in courses and in classrooms. As a coach, professional learning leader, or administrator, you will walk away with the latest ideas and new insights for leading and coaching adults in modern classrooms and schools.

What are elements of modern learning? Modern learning experiences:

  • Promote student agency
  • Reimagine space and time
  • Foster new ways of assessment that promote learning
  • Cultivate a love of learning
  • Allow learners to explore interests and passions

At the Learning Design Summit, you will:

  • Grow a global network of colleagues.
  • Design learning experiences that are personalized (driven by data and need) and collaborative.
  • Curate and create content relevant to real-world issues.
  • Reflect on, question, and take responsibility for one’s own professional practice.
  • Utilize technology to reimagine rather than reinforce current practices, habits, and interactions.

Sample Learning Design Summit workshops

Using Competencies and Outcomes to Rethink Assessment

We’ve been talking about competency-based teaching and learning for two years at GOA – all of our courses have a set of competencies and outcomes that they have been using to frame their work. This session will take a close look at what the implications of competency-based learning are for assessment.  Using examples from GOA courses and beyond we will approach some of the following questions: How can the use of competencies and outcomes make our assessment more transparent and consistent?; How can CBL enrich our feedback and student reflection processes?; How can we use outcomes to create more personalized assessment?; and, What does the balance between personalization and learning communities look like? You will walk away with strategies for designing assessments within a competency-based framework.

Feedback that Leads to Learning

Not all feedback is created equal. In fact, Grant Wiggins argued persuasively that a lot of what we identify as “feedback” is actually advice, praise, or evaluation. We’ll kick this workshop off by exploring what Wiggins identified as feedback through examples from the food show “Chopped” and a middle schooler’s cello lesson. Both settings provide strong examples of feedback that leads to learning. We’ll then explore Wiggins’ “seven keys to effective feedback” through examples and an emphasis on the role of competencies and outcomes in this whole enterprise.

The outcomes for participants in the workshop: an enhanced or even a new understanding of feedback; an overview of feedback’s enormous role in driving learning, especially when it lives in competency-based education and when students have a chance to digest and apply it; forms of feedback to use in your classroom and with colleagues, friends, and family; a commitment to teaching students the life lessons of how to provide meaningful, actionable feedback; how to receive, relish, and grow from actionable feedback; and how to become adept at providing feedback to themselves; and, an enthusiasm for and a commitment to making any time you invest in giving feedback to others lead to learning.

Designing for Collaboration

Is collaboration becoming a term like innovation, organic, and feminism in that it’s come to mean everything and (potentially) nothing? In this workshop we’ll tackle the conundrum of collaboration: everybody thinks it’s valuable and worthwhile, yet authentically doing it is hard and time-consuming work, a reality that can lead to ambivalence about it (if we’re being honest). Further, are we even clear about what it is?

While collaboration won’t ever be easy, we’ll aim to make it easier as we first nail down what it is (and what it isn’t) and then look at what makes it hard to do as well as varied ways of helping people do it, whether in online settings or campus-based classrooms or a dynamic combination of the two. And, after all, it’s a requisite 21st-century skill. The outcomes for participants in the workshop are: an enhanced or even a new understanding of collaboration rooted in competencies and outcomes: the skills needed to collaborate and measurable outcomes of such work; an obstacles overview and strategies for hurdling them; ideas for building a connected, communal classroom, an essential foundation for collaboration; and, what successful student collaboration looks like and ways to market this opportunity to students.

Frameworks and Protocols to Support Discussion

This workshop is for those interested in ideas for structuring and facilitating meaningful online discussions. Online discussions are powerful places for our global students to come together to push one another’s thinking. Some students struggle to find and share their original ideas in ways that extend group learning. Discussions can sometimes turn into static, isolated posts or hollow strings of agreement. However, simple scaffolding techniques, sentence starters, and protocols can help students access and share ideas that matter. This workshop will give you ideas for setting up an online discussion that pushes students of all learning styles and comfort levels towards deeper interactions with your course content and with one another.

Building Professional Learning Communities Online

Professional learning (PL) communities should be meaningful, relevant, and spark growth. In this interactive workshop, participants will explore how to leverage both in-person and online spaces to design PL communities that are driven by collaboration, coaching, and connection. Participants will explore various tools that are used by GOA’s PL coaches to create authentic and relevant long-term professional growth.

Check out more workshop descriptions, outcomes, and professional learning experiences from last year’s Learning Design Summit here. 

Stay tuned! More workshops will be announced soon!


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Frequently Asked Questions



“This is the best professional development I get all year. What is great about it is that I learn things that support both my course and my brick and mortar classes. I get time to design and work with excellent coaches and the colleagues give me the support to continue to innovate.” 

“Crushed my goals and exceeded my expectations. I was introduced to tangible and applicable tools to diversify my teaching strategies! I enjoyed sharing experience, food, and best practices with the cohort.” 

“I came into the conference with the vision of producing a couple of online lessons and came away with so much more. I learned things that I never expected and was able to expand my teaching toolbox in ways I didn’t even know existed.” 

“I didn’t quite know what to expect as I wasn’t really familiar with GOA at all. I have come away with a finished project, a number of new tech tools and ideas, new relationships and a stronger network, and new friends!!” 

“A great week of learning, practice, and reflection.” 

“It was fantastic and inspiring! Thank you.” 

[All testimonials are from GOA’s 2017 Learning Design Summit].

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Want to learn more about what happened at 2017’s Learning Design Summit?

Check out our Storify.

Register Here

Frequently Asked Questions