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COLIN M. GRAY, MARISA E. EXTER, IRYNA ASHBY, & DEENA VARNER
PURDUE UNIVERSITY
BREAKING THE MODEL, 

BREAKING THE "RULES"
INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN IN A TRANSDISCIPLINARY 

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
TEXT
TECHNOCENTRISM
TECHNOCENTRISM
SOCIO-CULTURAL COMPLEXITY
TECHNOCENTRISM
SOCIO-CULTURAL COMPLEXITY
EMPATHY & CARE
HUMANISTIC ENGINEERING
}
SOCIO-CULTURAL COMPLEXITY
EMPATHY & CARE
HUMANISTIC ENGINEERING
}REQUIRES THE
TAKING ON OF
MULTIPLE
PERSPECTIVES
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE ID 

WITHOUT “CONTENT”?
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE ID 

WITHOUT “CONTENT”?
HOW DO YOU BUILD STUDENTS’
ABILITIES TO BRIDGE DISCIPLINES
AND CREATE NEW ONES?
“We refer here to the unarticulated and unexamined means by
which eclectic practices unfold in design work; or stated differently,
we are concerned that merely claiming one’s practices to be
eclectic, and assuming that this admission satisfactorily clarifies
one’s modus operandi in the design process, obscures
fundamental issues regarding the nature of one’s design decisions
in a given situation and masks—often unintentionally—the values,
assumptions, and judgments that guide such choices…”


(Yanchar & Gabbitas, 2011, p. 385)
ECLECTICISM
UNRAVELING
DESIGN THEORY
DESIGN METHOD
DESIGN PROCESS
DESCRIPTIVE
PREDICTIVE
PRESCRIPTIVE
GENERATIVE
REQUIRES ATTENDING TO THE DESIGNER’S JUDGMENT
(E.G., HOLT, 1997; GRAY ET AL., 2015; NELSON & STOLTERMAN, 2012)
TRANSDISCIPLINARY 

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM
TECHNICAL FOCUS “HUMANITIES” FOCUS
STUDIO + SEMINAR PEDAGOGIES
CASE STUDY CONTEXT
TRANSDISCIPLINARY 

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM
TECHNICAL FOCUS “HUMANITIES” FOCUS
STUDIO + SEMINAR PEDAGOGIES
FALL 

2014
SPRING 

2015
FALL 

2015
SPRING 

2016
FALL 

2016
SPRING 

2017
CASE STUDY CONTEXT
TRANSDISCIPLINARY MINDSET
DISCIPLINES
COMPETENCIES
DISCIPLINE AS MATERIAL WITH WHICH TO THINK
(EPISTEMOLOGICAL LENSES). MULTIPLE COURSES
TAKEN WITHIN EACH FOCUS AREA, WITH BROAD
DISCIPLINARY EXPOSURE IN STUDIO.
COMPETENCY TO RECOGNIZE SKILLS AND
KNOWLEDGE THAT CAN TRANSFER ACROSS
DISCIPLINES IN SPECIFIED WAYS
TRANSDISCIPLINARITY TO RECOGNIZE SPACE ABOVE,
BETWEEN, AND THROUGH DISCIPLINES THAT INFORM
SPECIFIC ACTIONS (I.E., COMPETENCIES)
SCAFFOLDING
TRANSDISCIPLINARY
THINKING AND ACTING
Privileging—Colonizing
Designing for Content—
Designing for Experience
Knowledge/Skills/Abilities—
Ways of Knowing
Privileging—Colonizing
▸ Role of signature pedagogies (e.g., Shulman, 2005)
▸ Presence of competing and multiple epistemologies and
ontologies that are rooted in disciplines
▸ Including without marginalizing or universalizing
Designing for Content—
Designing for Experience
SYSTEMS THINKING
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
2
3
DESIGN THINKING1
Links knowledge from
multiple disciplines to
analyze & solve a problem
Aesthetic
engagement
Unstructured
problem solving
D
D
D
E
E
E
P
P
P
Managed & iterative
design with reflective
design thinking
D
E
P
1.4 1.5
1.6
1.7
Problem framing
& research
Idea
fluency
Design options
assessment
D
D
D
E
E
E
P
P
P
1.1
1.2
1.3
™ 1 of 3 at Emerging™ 2 of 3 at Proficient
™ D : 1.1—1.3 at D
™ E : two at E , one at D
™ P : two at P , one at E
Ability to see
holistically
D
E
P
2.4
D
E
P
Ability to see and
understand complexity
2.5
D
E
P
Ability to communicate
across disciplines
2.6
D
E
PAbility to take advantage of
a broad range of concepts,
principles, models, [...]
2.7
Ability to define the
“universe” appropriately
D
E
P
2.1
Ability to define the overall
system appropriately
D
E
P
2.2
Ability to see relationship
D
E
P
2.3
Active
listening
D
E
P
3.4
Information
literacy
D
E
P
3.6
Written
communication
D
E
P
3.1
Audiovisual communication
D
E
P
3.3
Reading
D
E
P
3.5
Oral
communication
D
E
P
3.2
ENVISION & EXECUTE INDEPENDENTLY4
Lifelong
learning
D
E
P
4.1
Ensuring proper time
management
D
E
P
4.2
Entrepreneurship
D
E
P
4.3
SOCIAL INTERACTION & TEAMWORK5
D
E
P
Collaborate in
interdisciplinary teams
5.6
Teamwork
D
E
P
5.1
Individual Contribution
D
E
5.2
Working with clients and
users
D
E
P
5.4
INNOVATION & CREATIVITY7
Taking risks
D
E
P
7.4
Embracing
contradictions
D
E
P
7.5
Creative
thinking
D
E
P
7.1
Innovative
thinking
D
E
P
7.2
Integrative thinking
D
E
P
7.3
ETHICAL REASONING6
Ethical awareness
(developing a global
perspective)
D
E
P
6.1
Ethical analysis and
reflection (moral reasoning)
D
E
P
6.2
Ethical implementation
(recognize different
value systems)
D
E
P
6.3
™ 1 of 2 at Proficient ™ 1 of 3 at Proficient
D
E
P
Give, receive, and
act on critique
5.5
D
E
P
Leadership
5.7
D
E
P
Mentoring of team and
team members
5.8
™ 1 of 3 at Emerging™ 3 of 4 at Proficient
Working with culturally
diverse teams
D
E
P
5.3
™ D : 7.2—7.5 at D
™ E : three at E , one at D
™ P : three at P , one at E
continued on back
Knowledge/Skills/Abilities—
Ways of Knowing
ID PRACTICE ORIENTED TOWARDS
EXPERIENCES AND VALUES, 

RATHER THAN CONTENT
THANK YOU
COLIN M. GRAY

colingray.me

gray42@purdue.edu

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Breaking the Model, Breaking the “Rules:” Instructional Design in a Transdisciplinary Learning Environment

  • 1. COLIN M. GRAY, MARISA E. EXTER, IRYNA ASHBY, & DEENA VARNER PURDUE UNIVERSITY BREAKING THE MODEL, 
 BREAKING THE "RULES" INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN IN A TRANSDISCIPLINARY 
 LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
  • 5. SOCIO-CULTURAL COMPLEXITY EMPATHY & CARE HUMANISTIC ENGINEERING }REQUIRES THE TAKING ON OF MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES
  • 6. HOW DO YOU PRACTICE ID 
 WITHOUT “CONTENT”?
  • 7. HOW DO YOU PRACTICE ID 
 WITHOUT “CONTENT”? HOW DO YOU BUILD STUDENTS’ ABILITIES TO BRIDGE DISCIPLINES AND CREATE NEW ONES?
  • 8. “We refer here to the unarticulated and unexamined means by which eclectic practices unfold in design work; or stated differently, we are concerned that merely claiming one’s practices to be eclectic, and assuming that this admission satisfactorily clarifies one’s modus operandi in the design process, obscures fundamental issues regarding the nature of one’s design decisions in a given situation and masks—often unintentionally—the values, assumptions, and judgments that guide such choices…” 
 (Yanchar & Gabbitas, 2011, p. 385) ECLECTICISM
  • 9. UNRAVELING DESIGN THEORY DESIGN METHOD DESIGN PROCESS DESCRIPTIVE PREDICTIVE PRESCRIPTIVE GENERATIVE REQUIRES ATTENDING TO THE DESIGNER’S JUDGMENT (E.G., HOLT, 1997; GRAY ET AL., 2015; NELSON & STOLTERMAN, 2012)
  • 10. TRANSDISCIPLINARY 
 UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM TECHNICAL FOCUS “HUMANITIES” FOCUS STUDIO + SEMINAR PEDAGOGIES CASE STUDY CONTEXT
  • 11. TRANSDISCIPLINARY 
 UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM TECHNICAL FOCUS “HUMANITIES” FOCUS STUDIO + SEMINAR PEDAGOGIES FALL 
 2014 SPRING 
 2015 FALL 
 2015 SPRING 
 2016 FALL 
 2016 SPRING 
 2017 CASE STUDY CONTEXT
  • 12. TRANSDISCIPLINARY MINDSET DISCIPLINES COMPETENCIES DISCIPLINE AS MATERIAL WITH WHICH TO THINK (EPISTEMOLOGICAL LENSES). MULTIPLE COURSES TAKEN WITHIN EACH FOCUS AREA, WITH BROAD DISCIPLINARY EXPOSURE IN STUDIO. COMPETENCY TO RECOGNIZE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE THAT CAN TRANSFER ACROSS DISCIPLINES IN SPECIFIED WAYS TRANSDISCIPLINARITY TO RECOGNIZE SPACE ABOVE, BETWEEN, AND THROUGH DISCIPLINES THAT INFORM SPECIFIC ACTIONS (I.E., COMPETENCIES) SCAFFOLDING TRANSDISCIPLINARY THINKING AND ACTING
  • 13. Privileging—Colonizing Designing for Content— Designing for Experience Knowledge/Skills/Abilities— Ways of Knowing
  • 14. Privileging—Colonizing ▸ Role of signature pedagogies (e.g., Shulman, 2005) ▸ Presence of competing and multiple epistemologies and ontologies that are rooted in disciplines ▸ Including without marginalizing or universalizing
  • 16. SYSTEMS THINKING EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION 2 3 DESIGN THINKING1 Links knowledge from multiple disciplines to analyze & solve a problem Aesthetic engagement Unstructured problem solving D D D E E E P P P Managed & iterative design with reflective design thinking D E P 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Problem framing & research Idea fluency Design options assessment D D D E E E P P P 1.1 1.2 1.3 ™ 1 of 3 at Emerging™ 2 of 3 at Proficient ™ D : 1.1—1.3 at D ™ E : two at E , one at D ™ P : two at P , one at E Ability to see holistically D E P 2.4 D E P Ability to see and understand complexity 2.5 D E P Ability to communicate across disciplines 2.6 D E PAbility to take advantage of a broad range of concepts, principles, models, [...] 2.7 Ability to define the “universe” appropriately D E P 2.1 Ability to define the overall system appropriately D E P 2.2 Ability to see relationship D E P 2.3 Active listening D E P 3.4 Information literacy D E P 3.6 Written communication D E P 3.1 Audiovisual communication D E P 3.3 Reading D E P 3.5 Oral communication D E P 3.2 ENVISION & EXECUTE INDEPENDENTLY4 Lifelong learning D E P 4.1 Ensuring proper time management D E P 4.2 Entrepreneurship D E P 4.3 SOCIAL INTERACTION & TEAMWORK5 D E P Collaborate in interdisciplinary teams 5.6 Teamwork D E P 5.1 Individual Contribution D E 5.2 Working with clients and users D E P 5.4 INNOVATION & CREATIVITY7 Taking risks D E P 7.4 Embracing contradictions D E P 7.5 Creative thinking D E P 7.1 Innovative thinking D E P 7.2 Integrative thinking D E P 7.3 ETHICAL REASONING6 Ethical awareness (developing a global perspective) D E P 6.1 Ethical analysis and reflection (moral reasoning) D E P 6.2 Ethical implementation (recognize different value systems) D E P 6.3 ™ 1 of 2 at Proficient ™ 1 of 3 at Proficient D E P Give, receive, and act on critique 5.5 D E P Leadership 5.7 D E P Mentoring of team and team members 5.8 ™ 1 of 3 at Emerging™ 3 of 4 at Proficient Working with culturally diverse teams D E P 5.3 ™ D : 7.2—7.5 at D ™ E : three at E , one at D ™ P : three at P , one at E continued on back Knowledge/Skills/Abilities— Ways of Knowing
  • 17. ID PRACTICE ORIENTED TOWARDS EXPERIENCES AND VALUES, 
 RATHER THAN CONTENT
  • 18. THANK YOU COLIN M. GRAY
 colingray.me
 gray42@purdue.edu