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Helping teachers to think about their design problem: a pilot study to stimulate design thinking

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • Designing learning experiences for students is a key responsibility of teachers. This involves designing stimulating and engaging tasks, selecting and creating appropriate resources, and deciding how best to support students to successfully complete the tasks. This is a complex process in which many factors need to be considered. Learning design research and tooling is focused on how to support this teacher design work. Existing learning design tools support the authoring and sharing of learning activities, which - if represented computationally - can also be enacted in virtual learning

    environments. An important part of the learning design process is thinking about what it is that

    students are to learn. This then informs the design of the learning activities. However, research on

    how to support this early phase of the learning design process is scarce. Indeed, an emerging finding

    from research investigating teacher design practices is that teachers’ design work exhibits some

    characteristics synonymous with the broader field of design. Specifically, teachers formulate and work

    with a design problem. But, teachers generally don’t consider their work in terms of design. Thus there

    is scope to encourage and support design thinking in teachers along the whole learning design

    process, including in the initial phase of identifying a design problem. This paper reports on a pilot

    study where a learning design Problem Generation Tool was created, in the form of 20 stimulus

    questions, to generate deeper thinking about the design problem. The stimulus questions are based

    on 3 foci, which are to be considered in an iterative way to think about and generate the problem:

    Understand the nature of the design problem and your goals (e.g, What kind of problem is this? Why

    is this design being done?) Map your context (e.g., Who are the students? How will the course be

    taught? Who will teach in this course?), Plan your design approach (e.g., What preparation do you

    have to do? What is your initial plan or steps you will follow for your design process?) The tool was

    incorporated in the Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE), a community platform that

    integrates a number of learning design tools supporting conceptualization, authoring and

    implementation of learning activities. The Problem Generation Tool integrated in ILDE was used with

    eight participants, who were already familiar with ILDE, in a workshop setting in a postgraduate

    program at a local University in Barcelona, Spain. Participants had between one and five or more

    years of teaching experience. Results showed that participants found the Problem Generation Tool

    helpful. The level of perceived usefulness by question varied across participants, while a few

    questions were not sufficiently clear and need to be revised. Overall, there was evident elaboration of

    the participants’ design problems thus suggesting design thinking was stimulated and identification of

    the design problems scaffolded.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Hernandez-Leo, D., Agostinho, S., Beardsley, M., Bennett, S. & Lockyer, L. (2017). Helping teachers to think about their design problem: a pilot study to stimulate design thinking. 9th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies EDULEARN17 (pp. 5681-5690). United States: IATED Publications.

Start Page


  • 5681

End Page


  • 5690

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • Designing learning experiences for students is a key responsibility of teachers. This involves designing stimulating and engaging tasks, selecting and creating appropriate resources, and deciding how best to support students to successfully complete the tasks. This is a complex process in which many factors need to be considered. Learning design research and tooling is focused on how to support this teacher design work. Existing learning design tools support the authoring and sharing of learning activities, which - if represented computationally - can also be enacted in virtual learning

    environments. An important part of the learning design process is thinking about what it is that

    students are to learn. This then informs the design of the learning activities. However, research on

    how to support this early phase of the learning design process is scarce. Indeed, an emerging finding

    from research investigating teacher design practices is that teachers’ design work exhibits some

    characteristics synonymous with the broader field of design. Specifically, teachers formulate and work

    with a design problem. But, teachers generally don’t consider their work in terms of design. Thus there

    is scope to encourage and support design thinking in teachers along the whole learning design

    process, including in the initial phase of identifying a design problem. This paper reports on a pilot

    study where a learning design Problem Generation Tool was created, in the form of 20 stimulus

    questions, to generate deeper thinking about the design problem. The stimulus questions are based

    on 3 foci, which are to be considered in an iterative way to think about and generate the problem:

    Understand the nature of the design problem and your goals (e.g, What kind of problem is this? Why

    is this design being done?) Map your context (e.g., Who are the students? How will the course be

    taught? Who will teach in this course?), Plan your design approach (e.g., What preparation do you

    have to do? What is your initial plan or steps you will follow for your design process?) The tool was

    incorporated in the Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE), a community platform that

    integrates a number of learning design tools supporting conceptualization, authoring and

    implementation of learning activities. The Problem Generation Tool integrated in ILDE was used with

    eight participants, who were already familiar with ILDE, in a workshop setting in a postgraduate

    program at a local University in Barcelona, Spain. Participants had between one and five or more

    years of teaching experience. Results showed that participants found the Problem Generation Tool

    helpful. The level of perceived usefulness by question varied across participants, while a few

    questions were not sufficiently clear and need to be revised. Overall, there was evident elaboration of

    the participants’ design problems thus suggesting design thinking was stimulated and identification of

    the design problems scaffolded.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Hernandez-Leo, D., Agostinho, S., Beardsley, M., Bennett, S. & Lockyer, L. (2017). Helping teachers to think about their design problem: a pilot study to stimulate design thinking. 9th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies EDULEARN17 (pp. 5681-5690). United States: IATED Publications.

Start Page


  • 5681

End Page


  • 5690

Place Of Publication


  • United States