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Beauty and precision in instructional design


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EDMEDIA 2008, Vienna, Austria, June 2008

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Beauty and precision in instructional design

  1. 1. Beauty and Precision in Instructional Design Michael Derntl*, Pat Parrish, Luca Botturi *Research Lab for Educational Technologies University of Vienna, Austria [email_address] ED-MEDIA 2008 July 2. 2008 – Vienna, Austria
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Using design languages for creating aesthetic (beauty) and formal (precision) instructional design solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Design languages and ID languages </li></ul><ul><li>Based on a concrete ID case </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Designing for aesthetic learning experiences using narrative diagrams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Translating into precise specifications using formal learning object and activity plans </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Design languages <ul><li>… a set of concepts that support structuring design or development and conceiving new solutions (Gibbons & Brewer, 2006) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>managing complexity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>shared vocabulary, shared understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>communicating solutions, … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Long tradition in many design fields, only recently becoming popular in instructional design </li></ul>
  4. 4. Instructional design languages <ul><li>Examples of visual languages: E2ML, CPM, MOT+, coUML, poEML, IMS LD, … (Botturi & Stubbs, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>ID languages differ on several dimensions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>stratification, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>formalization, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>elaboration, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>perspective, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>notation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Botturi, Derntl, Boot & Figl, 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In practice, instructional designers find most ID languages difficult to use (Boot et al., 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Here: Use an informal visual language to create an aesthetic design idea + add precision through refinement of design using a more formal language </li></ul>
  5. 5. Case study <ul><li>Key elements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NPO with funds to develop instruction using multimedia tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Target audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>public education drop-out students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>age 14-18 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>difficult family situations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>many with inability to form supportive relationships </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>80 LOs for basic knowledge and skills in reading, writing, math, history, geography </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LOs should prepared for use by other schools in the district (adaptability + reusability) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Approach <ul><li>1. Define design goals to create aesthetic learning experiences </li></ul><ul><li>2. Use narrative diagrams based on Aristotle‘s Incline to create an engaging storyline </li></ul><ul><li>3. Refine and prepare for development through formalizing LO structure and learning paths using coUML </li></ul>
  7. 7. Beauty through aesthetics <ul><li>Four principles for creating aesthetic learning experiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>learning experiences have beginnings, middles, and endings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learners are protagonists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>activity is the theme of instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>immersion in the activity through context </li></ul></ul>Design and sketch for an aesthetic learning experience (cf. Parrish, 2008, in ETR&D) awareness engagement tension anticipation observation unity completeness consummation immersion ... coherence
  8. 8. Beauty: design goals <ul><li>Observations </li></ul><ul><li>Design goals </li></ul>Engagement difficult with drop-outs Context-free LOs might hinder coherence Importance of supportive interactions <ul><ul><li>Reuse of LOs </li></ul></ul>Design goals Engagement : overarching structure with narrative qualities Incremental accomplishment : LOs should relate to and build upon one another Peer collaboration : use of LOs within social contexts Design and sketch for an aesthetic learning experience Flexible scenarios : plan for flexible combinations of LOs (learning paths)
  9. 9. Beauty: narrative diagram <ul><li>Narrative skeleton: overarching structure </li></ul><ul><li>Aristotle’s Incline </li></ul>Phase One (~20 LOs) Phase Two (~40 LOs) Phase Three (~20 LOs) Conclusion Opening Catharsis Mid-Point Plot point Two Plot Point One Rising Engagement
  10. 10. Beauty: narrative diagram <ul><li>Instantiation: Adventure learning game </li></ul><ul><li>Galactic Explorers </li></ul>Conclusion Success Assignment to explore Earth’s peoples and geography Evacuation plan evaluated and deemed worthy or improved Learners report what they’ve learned and advise Learners help plan evacuation Learn of asteroid in the path of Earth Opening Catharsis Mid-Point Plot point Two Plot Point One Phase One (~20 LOs) Phase Two (~40 LOs) Phase Three (~20 LOs) Rising Engagement  how to turn this grand view into a product?
  11. 11. Transition to precision <ul><li>Transform the grand view into a product </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating design to developers and instructors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>supported by a shared language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>limited & well-defined set of concepts and perspectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>visual representation using easy-to-use notation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visualization triggers reflection and refinement of previous decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Precision = formal specification of structural and procedural composition of design elements </li></ul><ul><li>Many languages available: E2ML (conceptual), CPM, coUML (specification), poEML, IMS LD (implementation), etc. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Learning objects structure <ul><li>Requirement : 80 sharable LOs, flexible arrangement </li></ul><ul><li>Decision : three phases = three LO packages for each subject </li></ul><ul><ul><li>basic LOs: first phase, introductory, independent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>core LOs: towards engagement and stepwise accomplishments  dependencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>final LOs: resolution, building on core and basics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initial specification of LO dependencies abstracted from content – allows creation of multiple alternative storylines </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Learning objects structure History History Basics History Core HB1 HB2 HB3 HB4 ( not detailed here ) History Finale HC2 HC3 HC4 HC5 HC7 HC6 HC8 HC1 At least 2 basic LOs needed for accessing core LOs.
  14. 14. Learning objects structure <ul><li>Dependencies allow specification of reference process , showing feasible paths through LOs </li></ul>
  15. 15. Tasks and activities <ul><li>Specification of process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sequence of activities, tasks, assignments, ... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involved documents and LOs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involved roles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example: “ Asteroid impact ” assignment towards the end of Phase 1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Announcement: Earth is on a lethal collision path with some asteroid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assignment: team up, individually collect information on previous asteroid impacts, take notes, share information in team, write and present report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructor facilitates student work and grades reports </li></ul></ul>Learn of asteroid in the path of Earth Plot Point One Many ID languages support this (E2ML, coUML, poEML, IMS/LD, …)
  16. 16. Asteroid Impact: Activity plan Instructor Student Group Announce asteroid assignment Build small groups Take notes on personal research Research previous asteroid impacts Collect group-specific assignment Research geographic impact aspects Write report Notes Assignment Report Present & discuss reports Grade reports Facilitate student work HC1 HC2 GC1 GC5
  17. 17. Precision through refinement <ul><li>Zooming in/out enables a more or less aggregate view on certain phases, activities, assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Activity plans and object structures facilitate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparing instructors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provision of project documentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selection and development of LOs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creation of alternative storylines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation of implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusions <ul><li>Types of languages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disparate languages can act in concert </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflection of different design orientations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supporting the grand view and the details of an ID project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration of generative and conceptual language with finalist and specificational language </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Beauty and precision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ID is about learning experiences, engagement, accomplishment – requires creative solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ID is also about communicating and implementing design intentions for those experiences – requires precise specification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supported by different ID languages </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Call for Participation <ul><li>VIDLATEL’08 – International Workshop on Visual Design Languages and Applications in Technology-Enhanced Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Sept 16, 2008 Maastricht, The Netherlands </li></ul><ul><li>in conjunction with EC-TEL’08 – Third European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning (Sept 17-19) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  20. 20. Book Recommendation IGI Global Publishing (contact me for an additional 20% off the online price)
  21. 21. References <ul><li>Please contact [email_address] for details of papers cited here and additional stuff on this topic. </li></ul>