Design for Learning

Designing for learning in the learning commons is current, collaborative, technology-enabled, and incorporates current best practices in curriculum and instructional design and assessment practices.

Pedagogical Shifts

Pedagogical Shifts

Together for Learning. (OSLA, 2010)

Together for Learning (OSLA, 2010) describes the pedagogical shifts needed to flip the focus of learning from mastering information to mastering learning competencies.

The real mandate of the Learning Commons is to design, facilitate and support dynamic learning experiences that utilize the best available resources, technologies, strategies and learning environments.

Learners move beyond merely retrieving factual information to constructing personal meaning and building individual and collective knowledge. As learners read, research, experiment, discover, perform and create in the Learning Commons, they collaborate with others to test, confirm and enrich their learning.

Guiding learners along their information to knowledge journey, and providing needed instructional interventions, is the focus of all partners in both physical and virtual learning spaces.

Key topics related to designing for learning have their own pages on this website. Check the Libraries & Learning sub-menu. 

For an overview of instructional design topics, connect to my Knowledge-Building Centre (KBC), Design for Learning: A Discovery Guide for Librarians.

Design for LearningThe KBC includes the following topics:


Election Central at Your School Library Learning Commons. School Libraries in Canada Volume 33 Issue 3 (Fall, 2015).

Flip Your Library Orientation!
School Libraries in Canada, Volume 33, Issue 1 (2015)

Models for Technology Integration in the Learning Commons
School Libraries in Canada, Volume 32, Issue 1 (2014)

Teacher-Librarians as Content Curators: Strong Contexts, New Possibilities. School Libraries in Canada Volume 31, Issue 2 (2013)

Teacher-Librarians and the New Learning Divide. In Treasure Mountain Canada (C. Koechlin, ed.), Hi-Willow, 2010.
Also available at the Treasure Mountain 2010 website

Clearing the Fog About the Cloud: Some Relationship Advice. School Libraries in Canada Volume 28 Issue 3 (2010).

Tech Tools for the Arts: More Than a Mash-Up Culture. School Libraries in Canada Volume 28 Issue 2 (2010).

Becoming Teacher-Librarian 2.0. Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library Information and Practice Volume 2 No. 1 (2007).

Blog Posts

Teaching with Technology in the Learning Commons (March 4, 2014)
Inquiry Untethered (July 19, 2012)
Knowledge-Building Centres (July 16, 2012)


University of Toronto Libraries: Designing for Learning: Moving from Covering Information to Uncovering Deeper Understanding (April 2016)

OLA Super Conference 2016: Flip Your Library Orientation
with Carlo Fusco

eLearning in Libraries Symposium
iSchool, University of Toronto, November 13, 2015
Just Say No to PowerPoint Poisoning!, with Jennifer Thiessen
Designing for Learning

eLearning in Libraries Symposium: Instructional Design for eLearning Ryerson University, November 14, 2014

Waterloo Goes Wireless, April 2012
Inquiry Untethered

Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2012
Construction Zones for Learning
Virtual Knowledge Building

Educational Computing Organization of Ontario (ECOO) 2011
Imagine Your Library
The Great Web 2.0 Face-Off Re-Match!
Virtual Knowledge Building

Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2009
The Social Web Goes To School: Enabling 21st Century Learning
Top Tech Trends – K-12 Education & The New School Library
Success Through Synergy: Developing a Framework for Student Success

Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2008
Teaching Wikipedia
Wiki With Us (Pre-Conference Workshop)
Wiki Models for Student Research