Breaking the Model, Breaking the “Rules:” Instructional Design in a Transdisciplinary Learning Environment

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Instructional design as a practice and set of knowledge has long claimed to exist at a level “beyond discipline”—where the principles that designers derive from instructional theory and learning theory are in certain ways “content-agnostic.” This has led to an understanding of instructional design practice that privileges theoretical abstractions of instructional design activities over what are often thought of as “selection of a model” or “modifications to the model.” In this proposal, we rely upon a case study to illustrate these tensions and facilitate a conversation about the limitations of current ID models and practices. In the case, we describe the interactions among instructors and program designers in an experimental undergraduate transdisciplinary degree program across multiple years of course and program development, productively complicating traditional notions of ID practice as model-directed and model-driven. Through this case, we identify multiple tensions in designing across disciplines or in discipline-agnostic ways, including multiple instances where traditional ID guidance or knowledge is currently entirely lacking or insufficient. We conclude with opportunities for inculcating a more expansive notion of design in instructional design and technology to meet the growing need of designing inter/trans-disciplinary educational experiences.

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  • 1. COLIN M. GRAY, MARISA E. EXTER, IRYNA ASHBY, & DEENA VARNER PURDUE UNIVERSITY BREAKING THE MODEL, 
 BREAKING THE "RULES" INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN IN A TRANSDISCIPLINARY 
 LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
  • 2. TEXT TECHNOCENTRISM
  • 3. TECHNOCENTRISM SOCIO-CULTURAL COMPLEXITY
  • 4. TECHNOCENTRISM SOCIO-CULTURAL COMPLEXITY EMPATHY & CARE HUMANISTIC ENGINEERING }
  • 5. SOCIO-CULTURAL COMPLEXITY EMPATHY & CARE HUMANISTIC ENGINEERING }REQUIRES THE TAKING ON OF MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES
  • 6. HOW DO YOU PRACTICE ID 
 WITHOUT “CONTENT”?
  • 7. HOW DO YOU PRACTICE ID 
 WITHOUT “CONTENT”? HOW DO YOU BUILD STUDENTS’ ABILITIES TO BRIDGE DISCIPLINES AND CREATE NEW ONES?
  • 8. “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) ECLECTICISM
  • 9. UNRAVELING DESIGN THEORY DESIGN METHOD DESIGN PROCESS DESCRIPTIVE PREDICTIVE PRESCRIPTIVE GENERATIVE REQUIRES ATTENDING TO THE DESIGNER’S JUDGMENT (E.G., HOLT, 1997; GRAY ET AL., 2015; NELSON & STOLTERMAN, 2012)
  • 10. TRANSDISCIPLINARY 
 UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM TECHNICAL FOCUS “HUMANITIES” FOCUS STUDIO + SEMINAR PEDAGOGIES CASE STUDY CONTEXT
  • 11. TRANSDISCIPLINARY 
 UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM TECHNICAL FOCUS “HUMANITIES” FOCUS STUDIO + SEMINAR PEDAGOGIES FALL 
 2014 SPRING 
 2015 FALL 
 2015 SPRING 
 2016 FALL 
 2016 SPRING 
 2017 CASE STUDY CONTEXT
  • 12. TRANSDISCIPLINARY MINDSET DISCIPLINES COMPETENCIES DISCIPLINE AS MATERIAL WITH WHICH TO THINK (EPISTEMOLOGICAL LENSES). MULTIPLE COURSES TAKEN WITHIN EACH FOCUS AREA, WITH BROAD DISCIPLINARY EXPOSURE IN STUDIO. COMPETENCY TO RECOGNIZE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE THAT CAN TRANSFER ACROSS DISCIPLINES IN SPECIFIED WAYS TRANSDISCIPLINARITY TO RECOGNIZE SPACE ABOVE, BETWEEN, AND THROUGH DISCIPLINES THAT INFORM SPECIFIC ACTIONS (I.E., COMPETENCIES) SCAFFOLDING TRANSDISCIPLINARY THINKING AND ACTING
  • 13. Privileging—Colonizing Designing for Content— Designing for Experience Knowledge/Skills/Abilities— Ways of Knowing
  • 14. Privileging—Colonizing ▸ Role of signature pedagogies (e.g., Shulman, 2005) ▸ Presence of competing and multiple epistemologies and ontologies that are rooted in disciplines ▸ Including without marginalizing or universalizing
  • 15. Designing for Content— Designing for Experience
  • 16. SYSTEMS THINKING EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION 2 3 DESIGN THINKING1 Links knowledge from multiple disciplines to analyze & solve a problem Aesthetic engagement Unstructured problem solving D D D E E E P P P Managed & iterative design with reflective design thinking D E P 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Problem framing & research Idea fluency Design options assessment D D D E E E P P P 1.1 1.2 1.3 ™ 1 of 3 at Emerging™ 2 of 3 at Proficient ™ D : 1.1—1.3 at D ™ E : two at E , one at D ™ P : two at P , one at E Ability to see holistically D E P 2.4 D E P Ability to see and understand complexity 2.5 D E P Ability to communicate across disciplines 2.6 D E PAbility to take advantage of a broad range of concepts, principles, models, [...] 2.7 Ability to define the “universe” appropriately D E P 2.1 Ability to define the overall system appropriately D E P 2.2 Ability to see relationship D E P 2.3 Active listening D E P 3.4 Information literacy D E P 3.6 Written communication D E P 3.1 Audiovisual communication D E P 3.3 Reading D E P 3.5 Oral communication D E P 3.2 ENVISION & EXECUTE INDEPENDENTLY4 Lifelong learning D E P 4.1 Ensuring proper time management D E P 4.2 Entrepreneurship D E P 4.3 SOCIAL INTERACTION & TEAMWORK5 D E P Collaborate in interdisciplinary teams 5.6 Teamwork D E P 5.1 Individual Contribution D E 5.2 Working with clients and users D E P 5.4 INNOVATION & CREATIVITY7 Taking risks D E P 7.4 Embracing contradictions D E P 7.5 Creative thinking D E P 7.1 Innovative thinking D E P 7.2 Integrative thinking D E P 7.3 ETHICAL REASONING6 Ethical awareness (developing a global perspective) D E P 6.1 Ethical analysis and reflection (moral reasoning) D E P 6.2 Ethical implementation (recognize different value systems) D E P 6.3 ™ 1 of 2 at Proficient ™ 1 of 3 at Proficient D E P Give, receive, and act on critique 5.5 D E P Leadership 5.7 D E P Mentoring of team and team members 5.8 ™ 1 of 3 at Emerging™ 3 of 4 at Proficient Working with culturally diverse teams D E P 5.3 ™ D : 7.2—7.5 at D ™ E : three at E , one at D ™ P : three at P , one at E continued on back Knowledge/Skills/Abilities— Ways of Knowing
  • 17. ID PRACTICE ORIENTED TOWARDS EXPERIENCES AND VALUES, 
 RATHER THAN CONTENT
  • 18. THANK YOU COLIN M. GRAY
 colingray.me
 gray42@purdue.edu
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