Nicola Pallitt & Tony Carr

Using Peer Assists to Enhance Learning Design

Learning design for teaching with technology requires engagement with complex and sometimes difficult contextual factors, and thoughtful choices which align teaching and assessment strategies and appropriate tools. We will start by introducing some key learning design principles,  and then the peer assist process which is designed to mobilise the intelligence and creativity of a group of colleagues. We will work with one example of a learning design challenge and then split into smaller groups for one round of peer assist on several challenges. We’ll close with participant feedback on the process and any related learning.


Dr. Nicola Pallitt is a lecturer in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching at the University of Cape Town. As part of the unit’s course and curriculum design team, Nicola is involved in a variety of curriculum innovation initiatives and assists university staff with blended and online learning design. She co-teaches on programmes in educational technology and assists with staff development workshops. Nicola is a member of the e/merge Africa team, an online professional development network for educational technology researchers and practitioners in African higher education. Nicola’s research interests include ePortfolios and multimodal assessment, digital games and game culture in the Global South as well as the intersection between culture, learning and technology. She is passionate about the study of digital social interaction and participation in various contexts more generally, although she is currently mostly involved in Higher Education.

Tony Carr is an Educational Technologist in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching at University of Cape Town. His day to day work includes convening the e/merge Africa network, curriculum partnerships with educators, training of online facilitators and postgraduate teaching. Over several years he has published research on the use of online conferences for professional development, learning conversations in online discussions and chats, the use of wikis for student learning and communities of practice for staff development in teaching with technology.

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