The Ecology of Resources (EoR) Design Framework

Brief description

The EoR Design Framework can be used to help understand learner context and support the design of learner centred interventions and/or
technologies that fit contextual constraints and exploit available resources.


The design framework employs a model of context as individual to the learner and created by a learner’s historically situated interactions with ecologies of resources; “context is dynamic and associated with connections between people, things, locations and events in a narrative that is driven by people’s intentionality and motivations. Technology can help to make these connections in an operational sense. People can help to make these connections have meaning for a learner” (Luckin 2010, p18).

Learning & Context

The EoR framework focuses learning designers' attention on the various resources that designers, teachers, collaborators and learners can use to help learners make meaningful connections and access to these resources. The framework is derived from analysis of learning design experiences over many projects and grounded in an interpretation of Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development and the pedagogic strategy of scaffolding (Luckin 2010). Designers look to re-design learner context so as to optimise opportunities for interactions with social and other resources capable of assisting learners perform towards their objectives (design a Zone of Proximal Adjustment ZPA).


The EoR framework consists of three iterative phases: 
  1. Phase 1 - Creating a model of the resources potentially available to assist learners and the filters that constrain learners interactions with these resources.
  2. Phase 2 - Identifying the relationships between learner, resources and filters so as to better understand how these are interdependent and opportunities.
  3. Phase 3 - Designing adjustments that make the right resources available at the right times, and scaffolding so as to provide and fade help in response to learners' and collaborators' needs and learners developing competence. 
Any appropriate methods can be employed to acquire data and support analysis and design in these three phases. However, the EoR model emphasises the importance of learner agency and understanding the learner's perspective and consequently participatory methods are particularly appropriate.

Links to extended descriptions: 

Luckin, R. (2010), Re-designing learning contexts: technology-rich, learner-centred ecologies, Routledge 

The EoR Design Framework Wiki provides a number of example applications of the framework

Related Publications
Luckin, R.; Clark, W.; Garnett, F.; Whitworth, A.; Akass, J.; Cook, J.; Day, P.; Ecclesfield, N.; Hamilton, T. & Robertson, J. (2010), Learner-Generated Contexts: A Framework to Support the Effective Use of Technology for Learning, in Mark J.W. Lee & Catherine McLoughlin, ed., 'Web 2.0-Based E-Learning: Applying Social Informatics for Tertiary Teaching' , pp. 70--84 .

Luckin, R. (2008), 'The learner centric ecology of resources: A framework for using technology to scaffold learning', Computers & Education 50 (2) , 449-462

Luckin, R. (2006), 'Understanding learning contexts as ecologies of resources: from the zone of proximal development to learner generated contexts',

Luckin, R. (2005), 'Learning contexts as ecologies of resources: Issues for the design of educational technology', COGNITIVE SCIENCE RESEARCH PAPER-UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX CSRP 578

Luckin, R.; du Boulay, B.; Smith, H.; Underwood, J.; Fitzpatrick, G.; Holmberg, J.; Kerawalla, L.; Tunley, H.; Brewster, D. & Pearce, D. (2005), 'Using mobile technology to create flexible learning contexts',Journal of interactive media in education 22 (22) , 2 .


Professor Rose Luckin