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Stop Telling Designers What To Do: Reframing Instructional Design Education Through the Lens of ID Practice


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In this study, we address existing ID education through the lens of authentic ID practice, noting a lack of rigorous research into practice that should inform how we teach. Researchers observed eight ID practitioners conducting everyday activities in two organizations. Based on analysis of the judgments these designers made and the infrastructure surrounding their activities, implications for ID education are identified, including areas of authentic practice not usually addressed in courses.

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Stop Telling Designers What To Do: Reframing Instructional Design Education Through the Lens of ID Practice

  1. 1. Stop Telling Designers What To Do: Reframing Instructional Design Education Through the Lens of ID Practice elizabeth boling, colin m. gray, and muruvvet demiral uzan
  2. 2. additional collaborators - Cesur Dagli - Funda Ergulec - Abdullah Altuwaijri - Khendum Gyabak - Megan Hilligoss - Remzi Kizilboga - Verily Tan - Kei Tomita
  3. 3. background, purpose, & previous studies - Research on ID practice has been limited - On its own terms (Rowland, 1992) - Comparing practice to existing ID models or frameworks (e.g., ADDIE) (Wedman & Tessmer, 1993; Visscher-­‐Voerman and Gustafson, 2004) - Attempts to approach the complexity of practice by translating it into explicit, teachable terms (Ertmer, York, & Gedik, 2009; Ertmer et al., 2009) - Lack of knowledge about practice has constrained our conceptions of what ID education should include - transferring an idealized notion of design to students, providing learners with knowledge of the models, theories, and principles advocated by the field (Smith, 2008; Smith & Boling, 2009)
  4. 4. design practice & judgment - Conception of judgment in the broader study of design - based in, or impelled by, tacit knowledge that affects the actions of designers (see Polanyi, 1966; Vickers, 1984; Holt, 1997) - Related to modes of cognition and forms of knowledge specific to designing (Cross, 2010) - comprises multiple forms that are (Nelson & Stolterman, 2012): - exercised as nuanced decisions throughout designing - not limited to rational choice of strategies based in data
  5. 5. design judgment types Type Operationalized Definition framing Creating a working area for design activities to occur, often by introducing constraints (client or tool) or ways of assessing outcomes. This occurs dynamically across multiple levels. deliberated off-­‐hand Recalling to consciousness previous judgments that have led to successful practices and opening them to the possibility of adaptation or use. appreciative Placing high value and emphases on certain aspect/s of a design situation while backgrounding others. quality Making design decisions about the effectiveness of visual and other forms of style, or to demonstrate due diligence, often in accordance with company standards, in relation to a concrete design artifact. appearance Assessment of overall quality, relating to an entire product or experience, rather than just a portion. This often includes part/whole relations within a frame of aesthetic experience or measurement against heuristic(s). connective Making connections, or bridging various design objects that are central to the design process and activity. The connections made in this context are not generalized but specific to the design situation.
  6. 6. design judgment types Type Operationalized Definition compositional Making connections or bringing various design objects together that are central to the design process and activity. The connections made in this context are generalized and not specific to a particular design situation but to the overall process. instrumental The selecting, utilization, or influence of a tool, concept, or method in reaching an established design goal. navigational Considering a path, plan, or certain manner (of individual, disciplined preference) in approaching a task or a challenge to get to a desired state. default Giving an automatic response to a situation without deliberation. core Statement about one’s value or thinking, usually revealed when pushed by “why” questions concerning one’s judgment.
  7. 7. research questions & method - What do IDs do in practice consistent with design judgment? - What design judgments take place in ID activities? - exploratory questions and research design - 8 practicing IDs at two sites of ID practice - field observations (20 hours total) with handwritten field notes and follow-­‐up interviews with notes and audio recording - unitized coding of judgments - holistic case summaries - we observed IDs in whatever part of their projects were happening at the time we were there … we did not assume judgments would be happening only at certain times, and we were not assessing or describing any specific project
  8. 8. Name Company Role Years of Experience Background Gabriel Campus-­‐wide Consultancy Media Consultant 6 Degree in Computer Science; Masters in Comm. & Tech. Emily Established ID Firm ID 0.17 ID in non-­‐profit fields Julia Established ID Firm Senior ID/Project Leader 7 Degree in Fine Arts; Masters in IST Heather Established ID Firm Project Manager 11 Degree in English; Masters in IST Ethan Established ID Firm ID 2.5 Degree in IT; Masters in Instructional Tech. Claire Established ID Firm ID 6.5 Degree in Ed. Counseling; Masters in EdTech Adam Established ID Firm Course Director 10 Degree in Journalism; EdS in IST Sally Established ID Firm ID 3 Masters in Screenwriting
  9. 9. findings & discussion
  10. 10. many judgments are made and occur in every part of the design process - average of one observed judgment every 4 minutes - judgments include every type - framing, appreciative, instrumental and navigational most frequent - default and off-­‐hand judgments next most frequent - core judgments least available for observation - judgments are made on a continuous basis throughout projects, and not just as mental “adjustments” to models - these judgments cannot be discovered through the application of a priori scientific models
  11. 11. judgments were highly situational, not objective in the scientific sense - Design judgments can create the environment in which design activity is enacted, and reciprocally, the situational qualities of a particular design context can then shape the kinds of judgments that can be made. - design environment/office culture - role or position of the designer - project, client, and external team members
  12. 12. example - Ethan’s work was shaped as his client asked for last minute changes, and was not timely in some of the deliverables; he exercised his judgment in interpreting client requests, and communicating them to his teammates. - Heather used her navigational judgment in dealing with ill-­‐defined requests from clients, showing skill in managing them. - Gabriel exercised multiple judgments as he negotiated the details for an upcoming workshop in a symposium, as his client explained the structure and vision of the workshop; the client valued Gabriel’s judgment in deciding the inclusion of content - we saw many design judgments made in collaboration with a team where norms, however implicit, will always be assumed to be in play – company guidelines and principles (e.g., company philosophy, common knowledge base built up) were also referenced in the design judgments of Julia and Heather
  13. 13. judgments are clustered and layered - multiple design judgment types are clustered together; they appear in complex, contextually-­‐bound expressions rather than as pure philosophical forms - some judgments are foregrounded at any given time and others present in the background, even if they are important drivers of action - core judgments are not conscious and must be interpreted through action - judgments are not always made by the instructional designer, but by others in the organization and by organizational norms
  14. 14. example - “He also seemed to be working with multiple kinds of judgment simultaneously, such as considering the possibility that workshop participants may be interested in attending multiple workshops … and foregrounding his concerns for the time of instruction, workshop format, and purpose of the workshop ” (Gabriel) - She started the meeting [with a client via teleconferencing] with questions. She needs clarification on the document to understand the content better and said she wanted to ask questions to the person who created high level outline. [...] She continued making clarification on the understanding of the content and she asked “what communication skills and active listening skills mean. She wanted to sure whether what she understood is same what they mean with these terms. Then, she stated that she would like to have the definition of “active listening skills. (Claire)
  15. 15. limitations - Data limited to one ID at a time, although others appear in the frame - No continuity across projects or project teams - Convenient sample, with most IDs originally educated in a single ID program - In some instances participants over-­‐explained practice during the observation - Operationalization of a philosophical model of judgment is incomplete
  16. 16. implications for teaching instructional design This study is limited but suggestive – with a window into how design judgment is exercised in practice we can consider ideas like these: - Design judgment is a continuous faculty which designers cannot escape in any part of the process – therefore it cannot be taught as if it were an individual moment in design, or as if it were already built in to the tools they are learning - if judgments cannot be made outside the fully complex context of action and then applied to that context, designers cannot stand outside a situation and understand it (make appreciative or navigational judgments) -­‐-­‐ therefore, we cannot prepare students for design action outside a fully complex situation by teaching them analysis as if it were separate from design
  17. 17. implications for teaching instructional design This study is limited but suggestive – with a window into how design judgment is exercised in practice we can consider ideas like these: - Design judgments themselves are both varied and complex -­‐-­‐ they are not made in isolation and therefore should not be taught in isolation. - With multiple forms of judgment required for designing, which form of judgment to exercise at a given time is itself a judgment and a context-­‐ dependent one – there is no comprehensive means by which to anticipate what judgments students will have to make and when they will need to make them; we need to help them recognize when judgments have to be made and help them develop their capacity to make judgments … this involves personal development that cannot wait until they get “on the job”
  18. 18. references - Boling, E., & Smith, K. M. (2014). Critical issues in studio pedagogy: Beyond the mystique and down to business. In B. Hokanson & A. Gibbons (Eds.), Design in educational technology (pp. 37-­‐56). Switzerland: Springer Verlag. - Boling, E., Hardre, P., Easterling, W., Korkmaz, N. and Howard, C. ( 2010). How do we Perceive Design Character in Educational Technology" Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Anaheim, CA; October, 2010. - Brandt, C. B., Cennamo, K., Douglas, S., Vernon, M., McGrath, M., & Reimer, Y. (2013). A theoretical framework for the studio as a learning environment. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 23(2), 329-­‐348. doi:10.1007/s10798-­‐011-­‐9181-­‐5 - Christensen, T. K., & Osguthorpe, R. T. (2004). How do instructional-­‐design practitioners make instructional-­‐strategy decisions? Performance Improvement Quarterly, 17(3), 45-­‐65. - Cross, N. (2010). Designerly ways of knowing. Springer. - Ertmer, P. A., York, C. S., & Gedik, N. (2009). Learning from the pros: How experienced designers translate instructional design models into practice. Educational Technology, 49(1), 19-­‐27. - Holt, J. E. (1997). The designer's judgement. Design Studies, 18(1), 113-­‐123. - Kirschner, P., Carr, C., Merriënboer, J., & Sloep, P. (2002). How expert designers design. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 15(4), 86-­‐104. - Korkmaz, N., & Boling, E. (2014). Development of design judgment in instructional design: Perspectives from instructors, students, and instructional designers. In Design in educational technology (pp. 161-­‐184). Switzerland: Springer Verlag. - Koszalka, T., Russ-­‐Eft, D., Reiser, R (with Senior-­‐Canela, F.Grabowski, B. & Wallington, C.J.) (2013). Instructional design competencies: The standards (4th Ed). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. - Nelson, H. G., & Stolterman, E. (2012). The design way: Intentional change in an unpredictable world (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. - Polanyi, M. (1966). The tacit dimension. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books. - Rowland, G. (1992). What do instructional designers actually do? An initial investigation of expert practice. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 5(2), 65-­‐86. - Rowland, G., Fixl, A., & Yung, K. (1992). Educating the reflective designer. Educational Technology, 32(12), 36-­‐44. - Rowley, K. (2005). Inquiry into the practices of expert courseware designers: A pragmatic method for the design of effective instructional systems. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 33(4), 419-­‐450. - Roytek, M. A. (2010). Enhancing instructional design efficiency: Methodologies employed by instructional designers. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(2), 170-­‐180. doi:10.1111/j.1467-­‐8535.2008.00902.x (continued)
  19. 19. references - Schön, D. A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching and learning in the professions. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-­‐Bass. - Silber, K. H. (2010). A principle-­‐based model of instructional design. In K. H. Silber & W. R. Foshay (Eds.), Handbook of improving performance in the workplace, instructional design and training delivery (Vol. 1, pp. 23-­‐52). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer. - Smith, K. M. (2008). Meanings of "design" in instructional technology: A conceptual analysis based on the field's foundational literature. Dissertation. - Smith, K. M., & Boling, E. (2009). What do we make of design? Design as a concept in educational technology. Educational Technology, 49(4), 3-­‐17. - Tracey, M. W., & Boling, E. (2014). Preparing instructional designers: Traditional and emerging perspectives. In Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 653-­‐660). New York, NY: Springer New York. doi:10.1007/978-­‐1-­‐4614-­‐3185-­‐5_52 - Vickers, S. G. (1984). Judgment. In The vickers papers (pp. 230-­‐245). London: Harper & Row. - Wedman, J., & Tessmer, M. (1993). Instructional designers decisions and priorities: A survey of design practice. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(2), 43-­‐57. - York, C. S., & Ertmer, P. A. (2011). Towards an understanding of instructional design heuristics: An exploratory Delphi study. Educational Technology Research and Development, 59(6), 841-­‐863. doi:10.1007/s11423-­‐011-­‐9209-­‐2