Collaboratively Designing and Building a Digital Entomology Lab at K-State

Shalin Hai-Jew (Hutchinson Community College, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 267
EISBN13: 9781466625891|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1933-3.ch012
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With the creation of ENTOM 312, General Entomology, as an online class, the question arose about whether to pursue development of a Digital Entomology Lab to support student learning of insect morphology (structures and forms) and functions. The early conceptualization described how this lab could benefit learners from a variety of academic fields—horticulture, agriculture, engineering (robotics) and others—to benefit the larger campus and even those from off-campus. In the first iteration, no real considerations were made for broader nonformal or informal learning. This endeavor was funded in early 2011, and Phase 1 (the capture of insect imagery from five major angles, the metadata labeling, and the uploading of the contents onto a static site) was completed. To spark conversations about digital labs and online learning and to get creative design ideas for Phase 2, a participatory design article was created and published through the peer-reviewed online journal Educause Quarterly. This interactive article was “The Participatory Design of a (Today and) Future Digital Entomology Lab” (Hai-Jew, 2011). The commentary of participants was collected on an open-source MediaWiki™ page for possible inclusion in Phase 2 of the Digital Entomology Lab. This participatory design endeavor involved design questions about how to brand the site, set it up for a variety of use cases, replenish digital contents, design for nonformal learning, design for informal learning, anticipate possible K-12 uses and users, and to possibly pursue integration with other digital repositories. This chapter summarizes the learning from this participatory design “thought experiment” put into practice and what was learned about evolving a Digital Entomology Lab to accommodate the needs of formal, nonformal, and informal learning.
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