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The Designing Professional Learning report provides a snapshot of the key elements involved in creating effective and engaging professional learning in a globally dispersed market. AITSL commissioned Learning Forward to undertake this study to give greater guidance around the ‘how’ of professional learning. Learning design involves making careful decisions based on an integration of theories, research and models of human learning in order to contribute to the effectiveness of professional learning. This work is not presented as definitive findings, but seeks to draw attention to observed trends and areas of commonality between learning designs that have demonstrated success.

Following an analysis of a broad range of professional learning activities, a Learning Design Anatomy was developed to provide a framework for understanding the elements of effective professional learning. Each learning design element is framed by a detailed series of questions that challenge users to refine and clarify aims, intended learning outcomes and the most effective ways in which to engage—taking into consideration the unique context for learning. Examples of professional learning design are provided to illustrate elements of the Anatomy.

The report is designed to be of use to teachers, school leaders, policy makers, system administrators and professional learning providers. It is intended that this report and the Anatomy will serve as provocation for a broader conversation about the composition of professional learning and the elements that establish the strongest correlation between participants, environment, delivery and action.

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