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Forming A Design Identity in Computing Education Through Reflection and Peer Interaction

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Presented at AERA'18.

Abstract: There is growing interest in reflection and the value of reflection activities in enhancing students’ metacognitive abilities. Reflection effectively connects thinking and doing, building students’ understanding both of what they know, and how to activate that knowledge in their future work. In this study, we explore the formation of students’ design identity as scaffolded by a reflection blog in a graduate human-computer interaction program. Data include 1619 posts and 2019 comments posted by 144 students across three consecutive semesters of an introductory graduate interaction design course. Our analysis demonstrates how designerly talk among students may influence understanding and performance in their future practitioner roles. Implications for professional identity formation, and the role of reflection in this process, are considered.

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Forming A Design Identity in Computing Education Through Reflection and Peer Interaction

  1. 1. COLIN M. GRAY & AUSTIN L. TOOMBS PURDUE UNIVERSITY THROUGH REFLECTION & PEER INTERACTION FORMING A DESIGN IDENTITY 
 IN COMPUTING EDUCATION
  2. 2. GROUNDING THIS WORK • Reflection as a tool to externalize how a student is thinking about design 
 (Gray, 2014; Gray & Siegel, 2013; Siegel & Stolterman, 2008) • Reflection as a means of stimulating metacognition and engaging learners’ agency (Allie et al., 2009; Turns et al., 2015) • Making identity formation explicit as a goal of reflection
 (Tracey & Hutchinson, 2013; Tracey, Hutchinson, & Grzebyk, 2014) • Taking on multiple views of identity 
 (Gee, 2000; Tonso, 2006a; Pierrakos et al., 2009) • Designerly talk as constitutive of identity 
 (Gray & Howard, 2014)
  3. 3. What topics do students discuss when commenting on their peers’ reflections in an introductory graduate interaction design course? How do these comments relate to the students’ assessment of their own design ability at the conclusion 
 of the semester? 1 2
  4. 4. CONTEXT
  5. 5. DATA
  6. 6. Introductory course in interaction design
  7. 7. 1 HCI design course 144 students 1,619 posts 2,019 posts 3YEARS
  8. 8. END OF SEMESTER REFLECTION FALL ’14: perception of design errors students experienced or embodied FALL ’15: reflection about students’ metamorphosis as a designer n=55 n=31
  9. 9. FINDINGS
  10. 10. FINDINGS AFFIRMATION REINFORCEMENT OF DESIGN CONCEPTS COMMISERATION IDENTITY PROJECTION REFLECTION VALUE
  11. 11. FINDINGS AFFIRMATION “You were a great facilitator and probably one of the hardest workers during project 2.” Identity elements that were already well-developed 
 and explicitly acknowledged
  12. 12. FINDINGS “the design and the core are 
 inextricably, fundamentally connected, 
 if not the same thing.” Identity elements that were formative to the 
 students’ practice and view of design REINFORCEMENT OF DESIGN CONCEPTS
  13. 13. FINDINGS COMMISERATION “I am all for the fire under your ass.” Positive identity elements that were produced through challenging, yet shared experiences
  14. 14. FINDINGS “I’m thinking if should I become a visual designer that excels in user experience? Or should it be the other way around?” Identity elements that are future-oriented and 
 linked with the practice of design IDENTITY PROJECTION
  15. 15. FINDINGS REFLECTION VALUE “I asked a question to some of the professors and mentors on orientation day and it was, “if there’s something a budding designer should do more of, on a regular basis (other than sketching or reading literature), what is it?” and one of them said “to reflect”. I didn’t get it then, but I do now.” Identity formation realized through reflection & metacognition
  16. 16. UI UX ID EDU AFFINITIES
  17. 17. UI UX ID EDU AFFINITIES ACADEMIA PRACTICE DISCOURSE BRANDT ET AL., 2013; GRAY, 2014
  18. 18. THANK YOU COLIN M. GRAY
 colingray.me | uxp2.com 
 gray42@purdue.edu

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