Design process for teaching conceptual knowledge                                              Page 1 of 2

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Design process for teaching conceptual knowledge                                              Page 2 of 2

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  1. 1. Design process for teaching conceptual knowledge Page 1 of 2 <<< close DESIGN PROCESS FOR TEACHING CONCEPTUAL KNOWLEDGE Diana Laurillard The sequence of tasks for the academic designer of new technology teaching materials is outlined below. It begins with an analytical approach to defining the teaching-learning need in terms of a gap to be bridged, where the bridge takes account of the position of both sides. Steps 1-3 are indicative of what we currently do in planning text-based or audio-visual teaching material. Steps 4-6 only make sense in the interactive context of a face-to-face tutorial, or a computer-based program. To make the best use of the medium, the design has to pre-empt likely student difficulties, and how these might be dealt with by the program. Steps 7-8 are also indicative of the way OU text and AV materials are designed to provide clear learning objectives, and in-text exercises or activities. Steps 9-10 are peculiar to an interactive medium, where the feedback is immediate, and can be intrinsic to the action, i.e. it shows the result of the student's action on a system. The value of this is that it can enable the student to see the relation between their action and the system, and see how they need to modify their response. If the action-feedback can be modelled by the program then the tasks can be generative, i.e. the computer can generate as many different exercises as the student needs. Step 11 corresponds to the SAQ or in-text response to an activity so that students can check what they have done against a model answer. In a computer-based medium, unlike print, the model answer can be made unavailable until the student has at least tried to answer. Unlike a tutorial, however, the feedback has to be pre-defined rather than responsive. Step 12 is a necessary adjunct to Step 9 if the latter is to be of lasting benefit. The computer is not an especially reflective medium, as it constantly engages the student in action, possibly to the detriment of their reflective thinking. If they are encouraged and enabled to reflect on what they did and how they might do it better, then the medium becomes more effective. Steps 13-14 are also aspects of the way we design any teaching material, and integrate this with assignments, where the students' performance can be inspected. In a computer-based medium, the program can inspect the student's performance, and interpret the history of this to support Steps 5-6 above. It may not be possible to work through the steps sequentially, and iterating around them is preferable anyway. Careful consideration of all of them at some stage is important, however, if the medium is to be fully exploited for the student's benefit. Ideal sequence of design tasks for new technology materials: 1. Describe teacher's conception/requirements 2. Describe range of students' conceptions 3. Define form of presentation most likely to bridge the gap 4. Define diagnostic for range of conceptions 5. Link to teacher's redescription or adapted tasks for each one 6. Define what record of learner performance this requires 7. Describe what learner must do to attain conception 31.05.2010
  2. 2. Design process for teaching conceptual knowledge Page 2 of 2 8. Define sequence of task goals, exercises 9. Define form of interaction: task goal, student actions, and intrinsic feedback 10. Consider how tasks will be made generative 11. Define extrinsic feedback for likely student actions 12. Ensure learner can reflect on goal-action-feedback 13. Describe how learner will be motivated to improve actions 14. Define how student performance is to be recorded <<< close 31.05.2010