Design case methods AECT 2013


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Design case methods AECT 2013

  1. 1. Activity Systems Analysis as a Guiding Framework for Identifying Design Cases Lisa C. Yamagata-Lynch University of Tennessee
  2. 2. Overview
  3. 3. Presentation Goals • Report on findings from pilot workshop and doctoral course assignment designed to help participants understand design as a practice and share their experiences in first person narrative format rather than traditional scientific research report format • The assignment requires students to use activity systems analysis (Engeström, 1988) to help them write and reflect on their design experiences
  4. 4. Pilot and Study Context Pilot 4-Week Course Segment 15-Week Course Japanese Engineering School Values and Decision Sciences (VALDES) University of Tennessee Learning Environments and Educational Studies (LEEDS) Japanese as the dominant language with some English instruction Exclusively in English Master’s students with no ID Doctoral students with some ID 4-week course topic on Design Thinking and Activity Systems Analysis 15-week course on Design Thinking and Theory me/invited-lectures/valdes-2012 http://lees604design.lisayamagatalyn
  5. 5. 15-Week Course Description
  6. 6. New ways for Participants to Look at Design • Design traditionally has been studied as a logically sequenced process, rather than an organic process • These studies have been influenced by the scientific traditions that do not represent design as experiences practitioners encounter in the field (Boling & Smith, 2012, Jonassen, 2011) • Studies of design through a scientific lens has made minimal contributions to understand what designers do (Cross, 2006, Dorst, 2011)
  7. 7. Course Details • Design Thinking and Theory • 10 doctoral students enrolled, 7 agreed to participate in study • Syllabus available at:
  8. 8. Design Case Analysis Assignment Prepare a design case while considering issues related to thick description (Geertz, 1973), design stories (Parrish, 2006), and design cases (Boling, 2010; Smith, 2010) by addressing: • The design situation, context, and activity; • The designer(s), stakeholders, and clients; • Problems addressed in the design activity; • Resources available/unavailable to designer(s); • Constraints taking a role in the design activity; and • Interesting observations about the design activity. Guide
  9. 9. Design Case Analysis Assignment Engage in an activity systems analysis of the design case while considering the methodology as described in Yamagata-Lynch (2010) and and identify the the subject, object, tool, rule, community, division of labor, outcome, and tensions. Then discuss: • Interesting findings from the analysis; and • Reflections of the design activity and analysis in relation to future design and research activities Rubric
  10. 10. Sample Participant Design Cases
  11. 11. Participants and Topics Susan Kai Maggi ID Experience Kind of Yes No Background Corporate K-12 Education K-12 Education Topic Interactive visual materials for a presentation on strategies for facilitating a gifted curriculum Serious game development for an anti-school violence education program in Korea Customized design of user friendly phonogram cards
  12. 12. Kai’s Design Case Background • Design activity in response to suicide rates in Korea in response to school violence and bullying • Target audience was juvenile offenders and victims of school violence • Tasked from Korean Ministry of Justice to develop a serious game that address school violence • Shared game design and development in narrative format
  13. 13. Kai’s Analysis
  14. 14. Sample Analysis Results Activity systems analysis shows that subject in this design activity is our design team. The tool is divided two categories. One is theory. We used a modified Dick & Carey model, ARCS theory, case study, GBS and game design theory in our design as a tool. The other is method and software. We used the storyboard as a design method and PowerPoint. We have many rules in this activity. The modified Dick & Carey model we used acted as the frame of this activity. We had to finish our design in four months and had a budget. Especially, our design result had to have high development feasibility. The community members involved in this activity were the Korean Ministry of Justice (client), students and teachers (user), game designers, and youth counselors (subject expert). The division of labor within this community is literature review, case study, collecting school violence case and each task related modified Dick & Carey's each step. The object is designing a serious game as psychotherapy for juvenile offenders and victims of school violence. The outcome of this activity was a designed serious game called “Our school, Sherlock.” (Kai’s analysis shared in Design Case Assignment)
  15. 15. Findings from Participant Reflections
  16. 16. Finding 1 On being a Designer • I was a designer? • I have always been a designer
  17. 17. I was a designer? The design ability is one of most important abilities to have in order to be a good instructional technologist. As instructional technologists, we conduct many design works such as designing curriculums, learning materials, learning activities, and learning tools. Because it is such an essential asset, it is important that we should improve our design ability. What is the best way to improve design ability? I think the first step is to understand that I am a designer and to recognize my design work. Until now, I’ve never regarded myself as a designer. However, through taking the design class, I realized that I am a designer. With this finding, I was able to approach my design work with a new perspective. (Kai’s comment shared in Design Case Assignment)
  18. 18. I have been a designer For me, it is virtually impossible to separate design from any part of my professional practice. I bring over 25 years experience in graphic design to my practice of instructional design and technology. When I approach any project, the design and content are inseparable and interdependent. For example, for this project, I actually developed the content for the presentation at the same time as I designed the PowerPoint presentation. (Susan’s comment shared in Design Case Assignment)
  19. 19. Finding 2 On Writing about Design • Recreate an in-the-moment experience into words I thought I would not have • Consciously articulate and explain design decisions to myself and others
  20. 20. Sharing Experience with Words The process of writing a design case study required the conscious explanation of design decisions and processes. The fact that I was able to specifically explain how I completed a complex design project surprised me. It required me to identify and name actions that are an automatic and almost subconscious part of my practice as a designer. I thought that my reflection on this process would include more descriptions about why I chose a particular graphic or typestyle or color. These are the elements that I normally think of when I think of design. However, as I thought about this process in terms of how I would teach it to someone, I found that it needed to be explained in terms of a process. As I wrote the description of my design activity, I was thinking only of explaining my process and design decisions. (Susan’s comment shared in Design Case Assignment)
  21. 21. What a Surprise! In two words, the result of the thick description and CHAT analysis took me by surprise. As a writer, I enjoyed chronicling the project and reliving a process that produced something I delight in using to this day, continue to introduce to other educators and students a regular basis, and, still find aspects highly satisfying to my design sensibilities. (Maggie comment shared in Design Case Assignment)
  22. 22. Findings 3 About Activity Systems Analysis • Helped to step back and engage in assessment of how the design project unfolded while resolving tensions • Helped reconcile frustrations from what seemed haphazard, ill-defined, often irrational process as a creative challenge
  23. 23. Analyzing Design Activities Activity systems analysis provides a model for analyzing this design process. Reflecting on the design process within the boundaries of an activity system reveals the mediations or tensions within the activity (Engestrom, 2008). Design is often thought of as an elusive quality that somehow magically happens. When design is viewed as an activity however, the mediations or tensions that affect the outcome can be more clearly seen. (Susan’s comment shared in Design Case Assignment)
  24. 24. Evaluating Design Activities After I created the CHAT triangles and populated the six elements, I was amazed at how clearly it represented the whole process in such a deceptively simple diagram. The areas or events that facilitated movement toward the outcome are evident, and those that hindered it as well. I found myself thinking as I looked at the triangles, “If I had only known that distance and time impeded progress as much as it did, I would have found a way to get members together more regularly and for longer periods of time.” (Maggie’s comment shared in Design Case Assignment)
  25. 25. Conclusions: Shared by Participants Writing the case and activity systems analysis surprised me because: • I can see design as an activity and now talk about it, and think about how to be purposeful about it in the future • The simplistic activity systems model reflected the experience more comprehensively than I thought it would
  26. 26. Conclusions: Shared by Participants Writing the case and activity systems analysis surprised me that: • Engaging in activity systems analysis made me realize aspects of design that I did not before, tensions that was not clear to me at the time of design • The design project was bigger in scope than I thought before the analysis
  27. 27. Implications
  28. 28. Implications • Issues of reified objects • ASA as a new lens to see things • How do we have student experience and talk about what they experience an learn form it? • Claiming the role of the designer comes with empowerment and responsibility • Improve design skills by reviewing design decisions • Understand how I apply my design knowledge in reallife