No. 1 – Learning Design in the Eye of the Storm

April 26, 2021, 17:00 CEST

EDEN webinar



Indeed, today most teachers and educators work in an online learning environment, yet for many of them their immersion in online teaching was a necessary response to the global pandemic. Overnight we changed physical, traditional, learning environment to an online environment. This brought many challenges for teachers. A high number of them needed different and new skills and experiences in teaching as well as the support and collaboration with people of different backgrounds and expertise. Support units, learning technologists and instructional and learners designers now become more than ever in focus by extensively helping teachers to navigate this new environment and select appropriate tools for planned activities, to implement new pedagogies, and to design efficient, effective and enjoyable learning experience for their students.  Learning designers across the globe led teachers out of the storm.  The pandemic forced steps forward and an online pivot that were planned and foreseen for many years and prompted teachers everywhere into action by opening new opportunities for teaching and learning and highlighting the critical importance of learning design. In addition, it has moved the focus from content creation to the users learning experience supported by appropriate learning environments. How teachers navigated these pedagogical changes, what kind of challenges they experienced and what kind of support they required with designing their courses is the topic of this session.

During the session, we will also discuss the questions:

  • What is learning design in 2021 and post-pandemic?
  • How does learning design differ from instructional design?
  • What is next for the learning designer?
  • What is the future of the learning designer’s role?
  • Where does the learner designer fit in the new digital learning ecology?
  • What barriers do learning designers face?
  • How can reflective learning design improve student experience?


Dr. Sandra Kučina Softić
EDEN President, University Computing Centre

Sandra Kučina Softić is EDEN president and Assistant Director for Education and User Support at the University of Zagreb University Computer Centre (SRCE). Her work is focused on monitoring and fostering the e-learning implementation in higher education institutions in Croatia and providing support and advice to institutions, teachers and students in implementation of new technologies in the learning and teaching process.  She was appointed Croatian representative in ET2020 Working group on Digital Skills and Technologies (2016-2018) and in ET2020 Working group on Digital Education: learning, teaching and Assessment (2018-2020). She obtained a master’s degree in Digital Education at the University of the Edinburgh, UK in 2014. From 2016 to 2019 she was EDEN Vice-president for Open Professional Collaboration.


Dr. Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin
Head of the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning in the Munster Technological University, Ireland

Dr. Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin is Head of the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning in the Munster Technological University ( Over a twenty five year career in the field, Gearóid has worked on and led a wide range of innovative EU-funded and commercial ed-tech and technology enhanced learning projects and has also published and presented widely on an array of related topics to do with, inter alia, the integration of e-learning systems in higher education, the pedagogy of online learning, learning transfer, and game-based learning. He chairs the Ed Tech and E-learning research group in MTU and is course director of the university’s MA in E-learning Design and Development (

Dr. Alexandra Mihai
Assistant Professor of Innovation in Higher Education in the Department of Educational Research and Development, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University, the Netherlands

Dr. Alexandra Mihai is Assistant Professor of Innovation in Higher Education in the Department of Educational Research and Development, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University. Previously she worked as Learning Designer at University College London (UCL), Curriculum Designer at the Institute of European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and led the Centre for Teaching Innovations at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. Alexandra has a strong background in e-learning, learning design and innovative teaching strategies. In her PhD she analyzed in how far technology is used in teaching practices at European universities.

Nick Barratt
Director of Learner and Discovery Services at the Open University, UK

Dr. Nick Barratt joined the Open University in 2019, and leads the Learner and Discovery Services unit. Within the portfolio lies operational responsibility for the design, development and production at scale of all Open University modules, as well as new products such as microcredentials published on FutureLearn; free, informal learning resources hosted on OpenLearn; and an increasing range of learning design services for third party clients. His career background is in archives, libraries and the heritage sector as well as higher education, though his doctorate and publications track record relates to medieval and public history.