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Design in the “Real World”: Situating Academic Conceptions of ID Practice

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Understanding authentic ID practice on its own terms instead of through academically reified notions of practice may be required if our conceptual tools (theories, models and guidelines) are to be used in practice (Rowland, 1992; Stolterman et al. 2008). To do this, we discuss definitions of design theory in IDT and contrast them to the larger design community, suggesting future research on ID practice framed by a heightened notion of design theory and method.

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Design in the “Real World”: Situating Academic Conceptions of ID Practice

  1. 1. DESIGN IN THE “REAL WORLD” SITUATING ACADEMIC CONCEPTIONS OF ID PRACTICE COLIN M. GRAY IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY ELIZABETH BOLING INDIANA UNIVERSITY Photo courtesy of Marcus Spiske https://www.flickr.com/photos/125167502@N02/
  2. 2. SO WHAT IF WE HAD A THEORY FOR EVERY SITUATION? WE WOULD HAVE MILLIONS OF THEORIES
  3. 3. RESEARCHER DESIGNER THEORY ENACTED IN PRACTICE DESIGNER-PROOF
  4. 4. RESEARCHER DESIGNER OPPORTUNISTICALLY THEORY PRACTICE DRAW FROM UTILITY OF THEORY FOR PRACTICE
  5. 5. WE NEED TO DIVORCE THEORY FROM METHOD
  6. 6. THEORY V. METHOD 4C/ID MODEL (VAN MERRIËNBOER & KIRSCHNER PERFORMANCE FUNCTIONAL DECOMPOSITION PRODUCT/SYSTEM
  7. 7. RESEARCHER DESIGNER METHOD ALLOWS THE DESIGNER THEORY PRACTICE TO USE METHODS ARE TOOLS
  8. 8. WHAT IS “DESIGN THEORY”
  9. 9. WHAT IS “DESIGN THEORY” • Theory and method are separate (Friedman, 2003) • Theory and tacit knowledge about use are separate issues (Dunne, 1997; Polanyi, 1966) • Theory can tell us how phenomena occur, but it cannot tell us when we should do one thing over another, such as how to prioritize or deal with constraints in a particular design context (Lawson & Dorst, 2009; Nelson & Stolterman, 2012)
  10. 10. HOW DOES IDT DESCRIBE DESIGN THEORY? • Describe • Explain • Generative (and often prescriptive) • Describes “methods and how to use them” (Reigeluth & Carr-Chellman, p. 7, emphasis in original)
  11. 11. HOW DOES IDT DESCRIBE DESIGN THEORY? “[instructional design theory is] a set of design theories that pertain to various aspects of instruction” (Reigeluth & Carr-Chellman, p. 8) DESIGN THEORY Instructional Design Theory
  12. 12. (Gray, Stolterman, & Siegel, 2014) ALL IS NOT AS IT SEEMS
  13. 13. “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)
  14. 14. …Put more bluntly, we are concerned that, in the name of eclecticism, little or no careful attention need be paid to the underlying means by which diverse techniques are selected and employed, and, by extension, little or no attention need be paid to the means by which design is actually produced.” (Yanchar & Gabbitas, 2011, p. 385)
  15. 15. EXAMPLES OF DESIGN THEORY DARKE PRIMARY GENERATOR (Darke, 1979) DORST & CROSS CO-EVOLUTION OF PROBLEM AND SOLUTION (Dorst & Cross, 2001)
  16. 16. Design activity is fueled by theoretical and philosophical understanding, enacted in ways that are unique to the individual designer, representing a generative/ non-deterministic use of theory and method.
  17. 17. METHODS AREN'T MERELY ENACTED IN PRACTICE (Fortney & Yamagata-Lynch, 2013; Schwier, Campbell, & Kenny, 2009) WE DON'T STUDY DESIGN PRACTICE (IN GENERAL) (Rowland, 1992; Stolterman, 2008)
  18. 18. DESIGN METHODS
  19. 19. WHAT'S NEXT? • Partnering with practitioners and generating/ legitimating design and practical knowledge • Deconstruction of orthodoxy within IDT scholarship • Knowledge-building within theory and method epistemologies
  20. 20. THANK YOU COLINGRAY.ME
  21. 21. • This prescriptionist stance favors the research community in a hegemonic way, causing practitioners to feel cynicism or guilt toward the research literature (Boling et al. 2011)
  22. 22. THE NATURE OF THE TOOL IS INAPPROPRIATE TO THE TASK AND WE HAVE NOT EXAMINED THE TASK
  23. 23. • krippendorf - designer-proof system? pointing at the issue of not just designer or teacher proofing things

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