Designing for Change: visual design tools to support process change in education

Designing for Change: visual design tools to support process change in education

John Casey (UHI Millennium Institute, Scotland), Kevin Brosnan (University of Stirling, Scotland), Wolfgang Greller (University of Klagenfurt, Austria), Allen Masson (University of Ulster, Northern Ireland), Aine MacNeil (University of Ulster, Northern Ireland) and Colette Murphy (University of Ulster, Northern Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-729-4.ch021
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Abstract

This chapter looks at the possible uses of visual forms of Instructional Design (ID) languages as possible ‘change agents’ for design practice in the public post-secondary education sector. A lot of work is being done in the technical realm of the standardisation and interoperability for Educational Modelling Languages (EMLs), but this is largely restricted to existing ID specialists that use ‘dialects’ of ID languages and schemes. This is important work but it does not address the vast majority of educators working in the post-secondary public educational sector whose design work is highly individualised and deeply embedded in rich institutional contexts. The challenge for visual ID languages and EMLs in general is how they can move beyond their current specialist niche applications to be useful to mainstream educators. In this chapter we argue that this development needs to happen along 2 related dimensions: (i) changes in the organisation of the educational workplace and related training – what might be termed ‘push factors’; and, (ii) the use of tools such as visual ID languages to support that change process at individual and group levels – what might be termed ‘pull’ factors. We shall be concentrating on this second dimension. Specifically, in this chapter we shall be looking at ideas for how we might apply visual ID languages as a support mechanism in helping educators externalise and share their design models and ideas in order to develop them into semi-formal abstractions that might be developed to feed into the use of EMLs. To ground these ideas, we shall be looking at the experiences of those who have tried these types of approaches in practice. Finally we discuss the effect this type of perspective might have on the future development of visual ID languages and related tools.

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