Chapter 8 design representations


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Chapter 8 design representations

  1. 1. Chapter 8 Design representations Chapter 8 Design representations...............................................................................1 Introduction................................................................................................................1 Types of representation...............................................................................................1 Examples of different types of representation............................................................3TextualContent mapThe Course Map viewThe pedagogy profileThe task swimlane representationLearning outcomes mapThe course dimensions viewPrinciples/pedagogy matrix Evaluation of the views..............................................................................................6 An example of application of the representations......................................................7Course viewPedagogical profileCourse dimensionsLearning outcomesTask swimlane Conclusion................................................................................................................11IntroductionThis chapter will describe the range of ways in which learning interventions can be rep-resented, along with a discussion of the benefits of each of these and how they can beused as part of both the design process and as a means of making the inherent design of alearning activity explicit. The chapter builds on a paper presented at the NetworkedLearning 2010 conference (Conole, 2010).The JISC-funded MoD4L1 project conducted a series of focus groups with practitionersto elicit the types of representations that they used in their design practice. The represent-ations they identified that teachers use include: module plans, case studies, briefing docu-ments, pattern overviews, contents tables, concept maps, learning design sequences, storyboards, and lesson plans. The project concluded that no one single representation is ad-equate. Similarly Conole et al. (2007: 13) conducted a series of interviews with teachersand also concluded that practitioners use a range of tools to support and guide their prac-tice.Types of representationLearning designs can be ‘represented’ or ‘codified’ in various ways; each representationwill articulate particular aspects of the learning that the designer anticipates will take1 1
  2. 2. place. Each design representation foregrounds different aspects of the inherent ‘master’design. These forms of representation range from rich contextually located examples ofgood practice (case studies, guidelines, etc.) to more abstract forms of representation thatdistil out the ‘essence’ of good practice (models or patterns). This section describes whatis meant by ‘design representation’. It gives an overview of the different types of repres-entations; the formats they can be presented in, the level of granularity of design theyportray and an indicate of the particular ‘lens’ each representation provides on the inher-ent ‘master design’.Conole and Mulholland (2007) outlined a number of common representations. These in-cluded essentially practice-focussed representations (e.g. case studies, lesson plans andpatterns), conceptual representations (e.g. mind maps and models), more abstract repres-entations (e.g. and vocabulary) and technically orientated representations (e.g. UML dia-grams). They also argue that there are a number of uses of these different presentations,for example enabling educational researchers to analyse and develop educational innova-tions, supporting teachers in planning learning interventions, facilitating software design-ers to instantiate lesson designs in software or supporting learners in understanding whatthey are doing and why. The type of representation is crucially dependent on its purpose.This chapter builds on this work and describes different types of representations and howthey can be used. Figure 1 provides a more generic description of the types of representa-tion. Four main types of representations are identified: verbal, textual, visual, or data-based. A range of tools is now available to help visualise designs and in some cases, actu-ally implement designs. Four examples are shown. LAMS ( uses a linkand node visualisation, but because LAMS sequences are ‘runnable’ the basic compon-ents of the system are tool-focussed. CompendiumLD ( also link and node based, but can be used across a broader range of granularity ofdesigns, CompendiumLD maps can be exported in a variety of formats, but are not dir-ectly runnable. MOT+ is a graphical language and editor, which helps define activity se-quences, actors and tools (Paquette et al., 2008). Finally WebCollage visualises pedago-gical patterns taking a metaphorically based approach to visualise designs around theirdescription, such as ‘pyramid’ or ‘jigsaw’ (Hernández et al. 2005, 2006).Many representations are primarily practice-orientated in nature, however some have aparticular theoretical basis. For example, designs which explicitly align with a particularpedagogical perspective such as constructivism or Pedagogical Patterns which have aprescribe format and are based on an underlying theoretical perspective based on thework of Alexander (see for example Alexander et al, 1977; Goodyear, 2005). Vocabular-ies (see for example Conole, 2008a) and abstract representations such as design schema(see for example Conole, 2008b) and pedagogical models, such as Laurillard’s conversa-tional framework (Laurillard, 2002) are also examples of representations that are basedon theoretical perspectives. Whilst clearly this is not a perfect classification it does givesome indication of the breadth of types of representation that are possible. 2
  3. 3. Representations can have different formats, can be used to describe different aspects of the design lifecycle and can provide different lenses on the inherent design, foreground- ing specific aspects:·Formats. These can include different types of text-based representations (e.g. case studies ornarratives), visualisation representations (e.g. node-link types representations, design schemaor metaphorical), numerically focussed (e.g. pie or bar charts based on underlying numericaldata), representations based on other forms of media (e.g. audio or video) or representationscan be a combination of the above.·Levels. Designs can describe small-scale learning activities (which might describe a fewhours worth of learning) or scale up to a description of a whole curriculum (across a three-year undergraduate degree course or a one-year masters course)·Lenses. The focus might be on the nature of the tasks being undertaken and associated tooland resources, on the overarching pedagogical principles, mapping different components ofthe design or relating to specific data (such as financial or student performance data). Conole and Mulholland (2007) further classified representations into three levels. At a simplistic level this has an educational component (the pedagogical intention and aspiration) and a technological component (what technologies will be used, how and their associated affordances). A meditational layer, which describes the process or operational dimension, provides the link between these. They go on to suggest that the educational view provides the underlying pedagogical/inquiry model (such as the learning outcomes and pedagogical approach). The process-based/operational view focuses on enactment of the design. Examples include representations that are essentially stage-based (where the focus is on what is happening in a temporal sequence), or schema-based (which not only outlines the sequential set of tasks, but also the and associated roles, resources, tools and outputs). The final technical view, they argue, provides the ‘technical implementation blueprint’ and the rule-based/runtime of the data flow. Examples of different types of representation This section describes a set of recent representations that we have developed as part of learning design research. It will describe each representation, provide an illustrative ex- ample and suggest how that representation can be used. The 7 representations presented here are not intended to be comprehensive, but to give a flavour of the variety of repres- entations and an indication of their uses. They cover the spectrum of different types of format, level and lenses described earlier (Table 1). Representation Format Level Lens Textual summary Text Macro Descriptive overview Content map Node-link Meso, macro Content hierarchy & structure Task swimlane Node-link Micro Tasks breakdown: roles, tasks, associated tools/resources Pedagogy profile Bar chart Design method: student tasks Principles matrix Matrix Design method: principles overview Component map Node-link Meso Map of aims & course cohesion Course map Pyramid Macro Pedagogy overview 1
  4. 4. TextualThis is the standard ways in which course are represented. It can range from a brief textu-al overview plus descriptive keywords through to more a more detailed breakdown of thecurriculum covered. Such textual representations are common and form the basis of mostcourse descriptions. Textual descriptions can also be used to indicate the pedagogical in-tent of the course or can be aligned to a particular theoretical basis, as is the case withpedagogical patterns, which follow a particular style and format.Content mapAnother common way of representing designs is in terms of content (Figure 2). Contentcan be organised in a number of ways, but a particularly helpful one is to organise it intoa series of themes and sub-themes, although alternatives are possible that can be tempor-ally based or metaphorically based for example. Buckingham Shum and Okada (2007;2008) show how the Compendium software tool can be used to represent content (See The textual and contentmapping representations are probably the most common ways in which teachers thinkabout their designs. However, taking a more activity-focussed approach about using dif-ferent tools/resources requires other representations.The Course Map viewThe course map view provides an overview of a course at a glance and enables teachersto think about the design of the course from four meta aspects; namely ‘guidance andsupport’, ‘content and activities’, ‘communication and collaboration’ and ‘reflection anddemonstration’.The course map representation gives an ‘at a glance’ overview of the course. The repres-entation is based on articulation of the gross-level aspects of what the learner is doing andhow they are learning (information/experience, communication/interaction andthinking/reflection), the guidance/support they receive and the way in which they are ex-pected to evidence/demonstrate their learning. A 3D-representation of the course mapnicely illustrates the relationship between the three aspects of student learning and theoverall guidance/support and the ultimate evidence/demonstration of their understanding.The representation enables you to describe the course in terms of the types of learningactivities the learner is undertaking as well as the guidance and support provided and thenature of any assessment. The table below describes the five facets of the representationin more detail. Essentially the guidance and support acts as the ‘learning pathway’ andmight include details on the course structure and timetable or links to a course calendar orstudy guide. Information/experience translates to the content of the course and what thelearners are doing, communication/interaction to the social dimensions of the course andthinking/reflection to meta-cognition. Finally it may take the form of diagnostic, format-ive or summative assessment.The pedagogy profileThe pedagogy profile is a worked up version of the media advisor toolkit developed someyears ago (Media Advisor, nd; Conole and Oliver, 1998), modernised against task types 2
  5. 5. developed as part of recently developed learning activity taxonomy (Conole, 2008). In es-sence there are six types of tasks learners can do:• Assimilative – reading, listening, viewing• Information handling – manipulating data or text• Communicative – discussing, critiquing, etc• Productive – an essay, architectural model, etc• Experiential – practising, mimicking, applying, etc• Adaptive – modelling or simulationIn addition, learners undertake some form of assessment activities. You can then use theseto create a pedagogy profile for a course – indicating the proportion of each type of tasks.An interactive pedagogy widget is now also available in the Cloudworks site( task swimlane representationThe task swimlane representation describes the level of a learning activity typical of afew hours in duration. It is derived from an underlying learning activity taxonomy (Con-ole, 2008), which describes the components that need to be addressed when designing atthis level (such as the tools and resources involved in the activity, the kinds of task thestudents will do, the roles of those involved, etc.). Whilst some of these components scaleup to the level of curriculum design, this level brings additional levels of complexity.How can you map across the design process? What are the relationships between the dif-ferent components at this level and what are the interdependencies?The task swimlane representation is useful in terms of designing at the learning activitylevel. The figure shows a simple task swimline representation drawn in CompendiumLD.Each role has an associated line of tasks and associated tools and resources. This is an ex-ample of what McKim (1980) categorises as link-node diagrams, where concepts/entitiesare represented as nodes and where the connections between the nodes have meaning. Inour work so far nodes and links have been given equal weight, but it is also possible touse size or boldness as a means of conveying relative importance. The core learningdesign icon set in the tool are derived from an underlying learning activity taxonomy(Conole, 2008a). The tool also includes embedded help features and can be exported in anumber of formats (see Conole et al. 2008 for more on CompendiumLD). Task swimlinescan also be used to describe activities based on specific design types. For example the‘Think-pair-share’ pedagogical pattern represented by Hernández et al. (2005) as a meta-phorical visualisation, can also be represented as a task swim-line ( outcomes mapIn addition to mapping at the level of individual activities it is also important to be able tomap at the meso- and macro-level in terms of mapping different components of thecourse; such as learning outcomes, content, activities and assessment. Standard mindmapping and concept mapping tools can be really helpful in laying out and making thesekinds of connections. A number of different configurations and layouts can be envisaged.The figure shows a mapping of learning outcomes to activities for a recently run blendeddesign workshop (see the following set of web pages for more details on the workshop and activities). Sherborne (2008) 1
  6. 6. argues that ‘concept mapping could help curriculum developers and teachers at variousstages of the [design] process. The ability of maps to focus on key ideas and their connec-tions may help curriculum designers to survive better the translation into classroom ex-perience and promote collaborative working methods.’The Learning Outcomes view enables the teacher to judge to what extent there is con-structive alignment (Biggs, 1999) with the course, i.e. it looks at how the learning out-comes map to the student activities and to the assessment tasks.The course dimensions viewThe Course Dimensions view gives a better indication of the nature of the course andhow it is supported. For example, it indicates to what extent the course is online, howmuch it is tutor-guided and the amount of collaborative or activity-based activities are in-cluded.Principles/pedagogy matrixThis representation articulates the pedagogical approach being adopted by the course andthe overarching principles (See Conole, 2008b for more details). It provides a matrix thatmaps the principles of the course against four macro-level aspects of pedagogy. Prin-ciples might be generated/articulated by the course team (for example getting the studentsto reflect on experience and show understanding or incorporating frequent interactive ex-ercises and feedback across the course) or might be derived from theory or empiricalevidence (for example the REAP assessment principles (Nicol, 2009).Variants on the matrix are also possible. For example mapping principles to course activ-ities, or mapping the principles to a different set of pedagogical characteristics (for ex-ample Bloom’s educational taxonomy, the REAP principles or Laurillard’s conversationalframework).Evaluation of the viewsThe representations presented here have been trialled in a number of venues and appearto provide robust and useful representations. These visualisation representations are en-abling practitioners to be more creative in their design practice, thinking beyond the sub-ject content to a focus on what the learners will be doing. The task swimlane representa-tion for example has been used extensively and is built into our visualisation tool Com-pendiumLD (Conole et al. 2008). The pedagogy planner and the course map representa-tions were used at a Blended Design Challenge workshop, to help guide teams to design( A 3D ‘task-in-context to pedagogy’ map hasbeen produced, based on earlier work (see Conole et al., 2004 and Conole, 2008) and wehave also being exploring data-derived representations such as views based on financialdata for a course or student performance data (See for more details). We have alsoevaluated a series of workshops exploring the use of these design representations withpedagogical patterns work (Dimitriadis et al. 2009; Conole et al. 2010). 2
  7. 7. An example of application of the representa-tionsThe previous section described the general nature of the views this section describesthese applied to the learning intervention. The learning intervention was designed as partof the X-Delia project. which is exploring the use of gaming technologies with tradersand investors. In terms of timescales the learning pathway is intended to extend over sixmonths, different individuals will do different aspects and some may take forward intotheir work practice, therefore the following are intended as an indicative average amountof time on different aspects of the learning intervention; in reality of course differentlearners will spend a different amount of time working on this.Course view 1.Guidance and support: a self-directed learning pathway (up to six months) 2.Content and activities: games, didactic material, real-world practice 3.Communication and collaboration: peer discussion in the forums 4.Reflection and demonstration: diagnostic feedback), critical reflection 1
  8. 8. Pedagogical profile 1.Assimilative: didactic content (10 mins to 1 hr depending on choices made by the individuals) 2.Information handing: index game (for each iteration 30 mins – 1 hr) and aiming game (for each iteration 30 mins to 1 hr) 3.Communication: peer discussion (Zero to several times a week 1hr) 4.Production: non 5.Experiential: trading practice (1 hr per week to review the feedback) 6.Adaptive: none 7.Assessment: diagnostic feedback (1 hr), critical reflection (10 mins at the end of every trading session) 2
  9. 9. Course dimensionsLearning outcomes 1.Understand the disposition effect and emotional regulation 2.Improved awareness of own profile in relation to the disposition effect and emo- tional regulation 3.Develop skills in relation to the disposition effect and emotional regulation in a learning environment 4.Support a transfer of skills into practice 1
  10. 10. Task swimlaneThe following learning activities make up the learning intervention: 1.Diagnostic feedback via an e-assessment tool via a questionnaire and via calcula- tions based on their existing trading history if they have one, and the two-index game. 2.Some propositional knowledge about what all this is about via a series of videos, whereby different video segments are delivered based on your response to the survey and calculations. Feedback becomes a vehicle for didactic delivery of content 3.Engage with two types of games iteratively – two index game (disposition effect) game getting feedback each time the extent to which they are displaying a disposi- tional effect and get access to a play environment where they can manage their emo- tional arousal in the aiming game. Each game has a number of levels of difficulty. 4.Also learning interventions about developing mindfulness, which will be delivered online, includes a tool on paced breathing meditation for example 5.Use sensors to review their emotional status in a trading context in a day trading centre (optional) 6.Access to peer discussion so that they can come together in peer learning groups in discussion forums for peer support and peer learning 2
  11. 11. 7.Write down and review real world trading practices, engage in critical reflection, this includes recording and reviewing emotional state (for example rating yourself on the extent you have experience particular emotional states). Also make notes on what causes the emotions and what impact you think that has had on how you behave.ConclusionRepresenting design in a range of formats, beyond simple text can help practitioners tothink more creatively about their designs and can lead to new insights and understand-ings. There are parallels with Vygotsky’s notions of language as a mediating artefact,‘thought is not merely expressed in [drawings], it comes into existence through them’(quoted in Stubbs and Gibbons, 2008: 37). This chapter has attempted to categorise andoutline a number of representations and their purposes. The selection chosen attempts tocover the full spectrum of designs: from learning activities to whole curriculum designs.But as Stubbs and Gibbons (2008: 46) point out ‘As important as drawing may be to thedesign process, it rarely stands alone. Design drawings are nearly always accompanied bynarrative, which supplements and adds meaning.’ They quote Bruner ‘We organise ourexperiences and our memory of human happenings mainly in the form of narrative – stor-ies, excuses, myths, reasons for doing and not doing and so on.’ whereas visual represent-ations, on the other hand, ‘can render phenomena, relationships and ideas visible, allow-ing patterns to emerge from apparent disorder to become detectable and available to oursenses and intellect.’ This chapter has described some of the recent work we have been 1
  12. 12. doing in terms of describing designs. It has contextualised this in broader work in thefield. It is evident that there is currently a lot of interest in this area and that we are mov-ing towards a clearer understanding of different types of representations and how theycan be used. This section puts forward a draft classification of these representations. 2