Relationships, feedback, and student growth in the design studio: A case study

This is another chapter led by a Master’s student. It also comes out of the same study that led to our paper The Design Critique and the Moral Goods of Studio Pedagogy. In this chapter we focused on the relationships that developed between one student and the faculty she worked with, tracing the changes in the students’ abilities and confidence as she worked closely with her faculty mentors.

Abstract:

In this study, the critique is studied from the perspective of how, as an instructor- student interaction, it can influence the learning experience beyond only the acquisi- tion of course content knowledge. While this, in and of itself, is not a new insight, we assert that viewing the critique in this way can help clarify how the phenomenon can be shaped by instructors to help benefit their students’ development and growth. Studio critiques create opportunities for teachers to interact with students in an intensely focused manner. As we have researched this process in a university-level studio course, we have seen that an implication of this type of engagement is the opportunity critiques can provide instructors to build positive relationships with their students. Instead of provoking fear or dread in students (as is sometimes con- cluded), critiques may, in fact, provide a unique opportunity for instructors to sup- port students in developing dispositions that will be necessary as a foundation for their professional identities. In this chapter, we explore one particular example of this possibility by examining the experience of a student enrolled in an interdisci- plinary, entrepreneurship, studio course. We focus our inquiry into her experience by asking the questions: How did one female undergraduate describe her experi- ence being critiqued in a studio-style, interdisciplinary, entrepreneurship course? And what does her experience suggest about using critique as a method to influence student development of attributes other than learning the content knowledge of a discipline?

At Academia.edu

At ResearchGate

At BYU Scholar’s Archive

Reference:

Michela, E., & McDonald, J. K. (2020). Relationships, feedback, and student growth in the design studio: A case study. In Hokanson, B., Clinton, G., Tawfik, A. A., Grincewicz, A., & Schmidt, M. (Eds.), Educational technology beyond content: A new focus for learning (pp. 183-192). Springer Nature Switzerland AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37254-5_16

The playable case study: An online simulation for skill and attitudinal learning

This is a chapter led by a Master’s student of mine, and contributed to by a number of members of an interdisciplinary team I work with at BYU. The student leading the chapter was interested in helping underrepresented populations (especially women) have more opportunities in STEM education, and this chapter looks at how the one of the simulations we designed can improve students’ attitudes towards topics and skills that are often seen as being too difficult.

Abstract:

In this chapter we examine how knowledge- and skill-based learning might be integrated with broader views of learning that also account for changes in percep- tions of the discipline and attitudes toward professional practice. We do so by reporting our work on a mixed-reality educational simulation that we call a Playable Case Study (PCS). First, we describe the elements that define a PCS. Next, we describe a specific PCS designed to introduce students to the field of cyberse- curity and report survey data from a recent pilot study that illustrates the types of attitudinal- and skill-based learning this type of simulation might encourage. Finally, we describe insights we gained from our findings about how the PCS simulation could further facilitate students’ learning more than only the knowledge or factual components of a discipline.

At Academia.edu

At ResearchGate

At BYU Scholar’s Archive

Reference:

Winters, D. M., McDonald, J. K., Hansen, D. L., Johnson, T. W. Balzotti, J., Bonsignore, E., & Giboney, J. S. (2020). The playable case study: An online simulation for skill and attitudinal learning. In Hokanson, B., Clinton, G., Tawfik, A. A., Grincewicz, A., & Schmidt, M. (Eds.), Educational technology beyond content: A new focus for learning (pp. 127-140). Springer Nature Switzerland AG. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37254-5_11

Towards a view of originary theory in instructional design

This is a theory paper written with my colleague Stephen Yanchar. It came out of conversations we had about how it seems that the modern field of instructional design always seems to be looking for some shiny new thing to guarantee its success. We most often notice this when it comes to technologies; when a new technology is introduced there’s a flurry of activity around how it can be used for learning. But harder to see is how we do the same thing with theory. We get excited about new theoretical developments in other fields but often don’t take the time to understand those developments properly before trying to use them to solve problems. We also don’t see that issues in the field might be unique enough that our theoretical views might be required to address them adequately. So in this paper we wanted to both draw the attention of researchers and professionals in the field towards the need to consider imported theory more critically, as well as build confidence in ourselves that we, as a field, can create legitimate theory that is powerful enough to solve the problems we face.

Abstract:

In this paper we offer a call for the development and utilization of originary theory in instructional design. Originary theory, which is generated by scholars within the field of its intended application, can be contrasted with imported theory, which is formulated in one field and later moved or “imported” into another for new purposes. In making our argument we first review the use of theories imported into instructional design and address limitations that might arise if these theories are overly relied upon, such as if they are treated as the primary source of insight for supporting the work of practitioners. Next, we define originary theory and argue that it should be emphasized within the field of instructional design because of the central role it can play in facilitating the field’s work of designing and developing excellent learning experiences. We further explore how originary theories can support instructional design practice by considering two examples of recent theoretical work that speak to the values, and challenge the assumptions, of instructional designers, disclosing aspects of the field that can help them better accomplish their work. First, we consider originary theory that conceptualizes instructional design as a design discipline; and second, we review originary theorizing that provides alternatives to common views about learners and learning. We conclude by considering what it might mean for the field to more intentionally develop and apply originary instructional design theory.

At Academia.edu

At ResearchGate

At BYU Scholar’s Archive

Reference:

McDonald, J.K., & Yanchar, S. C. (2020). Towards a view of originary theory in instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 68(2), 633-651. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-019-09734-8

Designing for Informal Learning: The Case of a Mobile E-Reader

This article is a design case. Design cases are different than standard research papers. Rather than reporting the results of a study, the case describes a design in enough detail to give readers an experience of what the design process and/or product was like. This particular case draws on some experiences from my professional background, before joining the university. I tried to provide an honest view of the ad hoc and unpredictable nature of design throughout the case. I hope I succeeded.

Abstract:

This case describes the redesign of a mobile eReader application. The purpose of the redesign was to convert an existing eReader from a means of only reading books into a tool for informal learning. The case reports how the design team’s definition of informal learning evolved throughout the product development process, and how design decisions were influenced by this changing definition. Over the period of time covered in the case, the eReader evolved from a tool used for reading eBooks, into one meant for personal study, and then into a product that supported serendipitous discovery of inspiring material (built under a philosophy that informal learning meant that people were able to discover interesting and uplifting material without exerting effort to find it). The end point of the eReader’s evolution was as a subscription service for the company’s eBooks and digital audiobooks, to allow customers to continually use them for educational purposes. This case is structured around the four iterations of the eReader design process. Each iteration reports how design decisions were made and what kind of results were achieved.

At Academia.edu

At ResearchGate

At BYU Scholar’s Archive

Reference:

McDonald, J. K. (2019). Designing for informal learning: The case of a mobile eReader. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 10(1), 91-102. https://doi.org/10.14434/ijdl.v10i1.23546

Direct link:

https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/ijdl/article/view/23546/32661

“It’s So Wonderful Having Different Majors Working Together”: the Development of an Interdisciplinary Design Thinking Minor

This is a practitioner-oriented article that describes lessons learned from the process of creating the BYU Design Thinking minor. In it we discuss the growing interest in interdisciplinary teaching at the university-level, and how we developed our minor though the collaboration of four departments in four different colleges. We conclude by providing three suggestions for others interested in developing programs similar to ours. This article is an example of how I have connected my scholarship with my professional faculty responsibilities, specifically my responsibility to plan program innovations.

Abstract:

Traditionally, university students’ education is siloed into disconnected courses and programs. Increasingly, however, there is a trend toward providing interdisciplinary learning experiences to help students develop meaningful skills for becoming more successful in their chosen careers. In this paper, we describe an instructional design project in which we engaged to develop an interdisciplinary minor in design thinking at a university in the western United States. This effort involved uniting faculty from the colleges of education, business, fine arts and communications, and engineering and technology. After reviewing our needs analysis process, we describe the structure of the minor itself, and how it was designed to respond to our analysis. We also discuss the following lessons learned throughout our project: (1) common vision is the beginning, not the end, of interdisciplinary design thinking; (2) personal relationships are crucially important in interdisciplinary design thinking; and (3) iterative prototyping improves interdisciplinary design thinking. Using principles such as those discussed in this paper, we believe the field of instructional design can help lead the way in the development of additional interdisciplinary learning experiences in higher education.

At ResearchGate

At Academia.edu

At BYU Scholar’s Archive

Reference:

McDonald, J. K., West, R. E., Rich, P. J., & Pfleger, I. (2019). “It’s so wonderful having different majors working together”: The development of an interdisciplinary design thinking minor. TechTrends,63(4), 440-450. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-018-0325-2

The Design Critique and the Moral Goods of Studio Pedagogy

Part of my work in studio curriculum has been to try and understand better what it means to be a studio instructor. This is a very personal question to me. Since I am a studio instructor myself I’m curious about whether my experiences are normal, whether my struggles are typical, and whether there is anything I can learn from other teachers about how to cope with the challenges of a very difficult, but very rewarding, way of teaching. This paper is one of the ways I’ve gone about building my understanding. It’s a phenomenological look into what my co-author (a student research assistant) and I call a world of significance for studio instructors (borrowing the term from Hubert Dreyfus). I’m quite proud of this paper. I hope you enjoy it.

Update: May, 16, 2020. This week Esther and I were notified that this paper was nominated as one of six finalists for the best paper of 2019 in the journal Design Studies.

Abstract:

In this paper we inquire into the moral goods that are significant for design studio instructors, by examining how they talk about the way critiques fit into the studio as a social practice. We studied this issue using in-depth interviews with six studio instructors. Through these interviews, we found that critiques are how they structure the studio so they can pursue three types of moral goods: a) for student development; b) for their own self-cultivation; and c) for other stakeholders. Along with presenting these goods, we discuss what instructors say about multiple goods exerting influence on them at the same time. Finally, we discuss implications these findings have for understanding the studio environment, and why critiques matter within this environment.

At ResearchGate

At Academia.edu

At BYU Scholar’s Archive

Reference:

McDonald, J. K., & Michela, E. (2019). The design critique and the moral goods of studio pedagogy. Design Studies62, 1–35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.destud.2019.02.001

The Perceived Value of Informal, Peer Critique in the Instructional Design Studio

One of the first things we started when I came back to BYU was to integrate our curriculum, including finding ways for more advanced students to help those early in the program. This paper is the result of one study we did on using advanced instructional design students to give feedback on the projects completed by beginning students. A simple study, but insightful I think.

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to investigate how instructional design students perceive the informal, peer critique as an influence in their studio education. Our participants were students enrolled in beginning and advanced studio courses in the department of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University. Groups of 2–3 beginning students were assigned a reviewer from the advanced course, who then led critiques over two face-to-face class sessions with their assigned groups. Students perceived the critique experience to be helpful, although beginning students perceived greater value than did the advanced (possibly due to the time advanced students took to build confidence in the beginners). Students also reported ways in which the critique experience could have been improved, with the most common suggestions being to hold critique sessions more frequently and for longer periods of time. We conclude by discussing the role of informal, peer critiques in the instructional design studio, including how they could complement other forms of feedback that students receive. We also discuss how our findings could contribute towards future research into the value of critique in the instructional design studio environment.

At BYU Scholar’s Archive

At ResearchGate

At Academia.edu

Reference:

McDonald, J. K., Rich, P. J., & Gubler, N. B. (2019). The perceived value of informal, peer critique in the instructional design studio. TechTrends63(2), 149–159. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-018-0302-9

Teaching Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) in a Supply Chain Context: A Paper Football In-Class Activity

This is an article based on the work of one of my students. She developed an in-class teaching activity for her Masters project, and this report both describes the activity as well as reports on an evaluation of its efficacy.

Abstract:

We develop a single-class period learning game for the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) improvement cycle. The experiential activity walks teams through the PDSA problem- solving process as they create paper American footballs and improve their performance using each step of the cycle. The game is one of the first to focus on PDSA. Key benefits include increased student attention, engagement, and learning. Empirical tests show that participant pre- and post-test scores regarding their understanding of each phase of PDSA improved 21.2% after completing the game. Additionally, the treatment group performed 16.6% higher than the control group. In participant perception questions, 85% of participants felt the game was more effective than lecture or reading, 93% felt the game was fun, 95% felt the game improved their understanding of PDSA, and 98% felt the game was engaging.

At BYU Scholar’s Archive

At ResearchGate

At Academia.edu

Reference:

Brau, R. I., Gardner, J. W., Webb, G. S., & McDonald, J. K. (2019). Teaching plan-do-study-act (PDSA) in a supply chain context: A paper football in-class activity. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education17(1). https://doi.org/10.1111/dsji.12171

Principles of Learning

Sample Syllabus

Principles of Learning Syllabus  – Spring 2018

Selected Readings

  • Barab, S. A., & Dodge, T. (2007). Strategies for Designing Embedded Curriculum. In J. M. Spector, M. D. Merrill, J. J. G. Van Merriënboer, & M. P. Driscoll (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology(3rd ed., pp. 97–110). New York: Routledge.
  • Dickey, M. D. (2006). Game Design Narrative for Learning: Appropriating the Adventure Game Design Narrative Devices and Techniques for the Design of Interactive Learning Environments. Educational Technology Research and Development54(3), 245–263.
  • Gadamer, H.-G. (2001). Education is Self-Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education35(4), 529–538.
  • Jonassen, D. H. (1991). Objectivism versus Constructivism: Do We Need a New Philosophical Paradigm? Educational Technology, Research and Development39(3), 5–14.
  • McDonald, J. K., Yanchar, S. C., & Osguthorpe, R. T. (2005). Learning from Programmed Instruction: Examining Implications for Modern Instructional Technology. Educational Technology Research and Development53(2), 84–98.
  • Phillips, D. C. (1995). The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Many Faces of Constructivism. Educational Researcher24(7), 5–12.
  • Schank, R. C., & Berman, T. R. (2002). The Pervasive Role of Stories in Knowledge and Action. In M. C. Green, J. J. Strange, & T. C. Brock (Eds.), Narrative Impact: Social and Cognitive Foundations(pp. 287–313). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Sfard, A. (1998). On Two Metaphors for Learning and the Dangers of Choosing Just One. Educational Researcher27(2), 4–13.
  • Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Internaional Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning2(1).
  • Skinner, B. F. (1963). Operant Behavior. American Psychologist18, 503–515.
  • Thomas, G. (1997). What’s the Use of Theory? Harvard Educational Review67(1), 75–104.
  • Yanchar, S. C., & South, J. B. (2008). Struggling with Theory? A Qualitative Investigation of Conceptual Tool Use in Instructional Design.
  • Yanchar, S. C., Spackman, J. S., & Faulconer, J. E. (2013). Learning as embodied familiarization. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology33(4), 216–232.