Kate Molloy, Clare Thomson

Published On


Page Range

pp. 397–420


  • English

Print Length

24 pages

17. Humanising learning design with digital pragmatism

As digital education practitioners, the authors of this chapter champion a pragmatic approach to critical instructional design, where small incremental changes for good can build to large-scale transformation. Drawing on lived experiences, they set the theoretical considerations within the daily constraints of educators to explore humane, practical solutions to digital problems related to teaching and learning in higher education. Using a biomimicry-orientated lens, they consider micro, meso and macro methods for changing and developing learning design culture. For each of these six emergent strategy elements, practical suggestions are provided from their work as well as educator activities for readers to experiment with in their own contexts.


Kate Molloy

Instructional Designer at Atlantic Technological University

Kate Molloy is an instructional designer at Atlantic Technological University (Ireland) and was previously a learning technologist in CELT, University of Galway. She was the university lead on the Irish Universities Association Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning (EDTL) project from 2019 to 2022. Her work focuses on the informed and ethical use of technology, learning design, inclusion, and open practice. Kate is secretary national executive of the Computers in Education Society of Ireland (CESI).

Clare Thomson

Assistant Professor, Digital Pedagogies and Course Design at Heriot-Watt University
Parttime Doctoral Student at University of Edinburgh

Clare Thomson is an assistant professor of Digital Pedagogies and Course Design at Heriot-Watt University (Scotland), and previously a digital education consultant in the Office for Digital Learning at Ulster University (Northern Ireland). Clare is also currently a part-time doctoral student at the University of Edinburgh, researching reflective practice. Inclusion, creativity, collaboration, and care are her cornerstones.