“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

Instructional Design for Business and Non-Profits

Sample Syllabus

Instructional Design for Business and Non-Profits Syllabus – Fall 2018

Textbooks I Use/Have Used

Design for Learning: Principles, Processes, and Praxis, edited by Jason K. McDonald and Richard E. West

Design For How People Learn, by Julie Dirksen

This course is an undergraduate version of my graduate introduction to instructional design. For topics and other materials please see what I’ve posted there: course materials for Introduction to Instructional Design.

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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.

The instructional design studio as an example of model-centered instruction

This is an analysis of the attributes of various design studio cases that have been published in various fields. My intent was to situate the aspects of studio pedagogy in some kind of framing that would allow people interested in the studio to more intentionally plan how they implement different studio components.

This was the first paper I wrote when I came back to the university, but it took two years of reviews and revisions (and three different journals) before it found a home. There’s a lesson in that somewhere, I suppose.

Abstract:

This study describes how instructional design (ID) educators can better understand and implement design studio pedagogy, by comparing the approach to the principles of model-centered instruction (MCI). I studied this issue through a focused literature review of recent cases of ID studio implementations, comparing features and activities in each case to the conceptual principles of MCI. In aggregate, this analysis provides seventeen individual options for how educators can structure the ID studio. Additionally, comparing studio practice to MCI may also help ID educators experiment with their own studio improvements in a more systematic manner.

At BYU Scholars Archive

At Academia.edu

At ResearchGate

Direct link

Reference:

McDonald, J. K. (2018). The instructional design studio as an example of model-centered instruction. Journal of Applied Instructional Design7(2), 5–16. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.28990/jaid2018.072003

Preparing the next generation of instructional designers

This is an action research project that I conducted along with colleagues from two other institutions. We wanted to understand  how the community of instructional design educators can better support each other in preparing new design professionals. Our model has a lot of applications, and we are using it again in a project this year.

Abstract:

The ability of novice instructional designers to become skilled problem- solvers, who select and apply appropriate instructional design (ID) models in their work environments, are key competencies generally sought after in introductory ID courses. Yet, the proliferation of ID models, coupled with varied philosophies and practices about how ID is taught may pose challenges for ID educators seeking to prepare the next generation of leaders in the field. With little empirical research or documented best practices, ID educators are left to their own judgment about to how to navigate the practical challenges that can arise in the pursuit of their teaching goals. This paper shares insights on how ID educators across institutions teach introductory ID under varied conditions, and how ID educators can support each other in addressing challenges faced by those teaching introductory ID and seeking to improve their own practice. Using action research methods, we engaged in cross- institutional collaboration, sharing teaching approaches, philosophies, modes of delivery, instructional strategies, resources, models, and products of instructional design with each other as a means to understand and improve our own teaching practices. We also developed a model for cross-institutional faculty collaboration that is immersive, cyclical, and theory-based, and provides a guide for other ID educators to collectively engage in the work of supporting each other in the common goal of preparing the next generation of instructional design leaders.

At BYU Scholars Archive

At Academia.edu

At ResearchGate

Reference:

Slagter van Tryon, P. J., McDonald, J. K., & Hirumi, A. (2018). Preparing the next generation of instructional designers: A cross-institution faculty collaboration. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 30(1), 125–153. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12528-018-9167-3

Project management

Sample Syllabus

IPT 682 Project Management – Winter 2018

Textbooks I Use/Have Used

Learning Agile: Scrum XP, Lean, and Kanban, by Andrew Stellamn and Jennifer Greene

Brilliant Agile Project Management: A Practical Guide to Using Agile, Scrum and Kanban, by Rob Cole and Edward Scotcher

Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management, by Scott Berkun

Topics

Diagnose

Organize/plan

Make progress

Communication

Manage risk

Other

Lifetime lessons learned about project management

Advanced instructional design

Sample Syllabus

IPT 664 Advanced Instructional Design – Fall 2017

Textbooks I Use/Have Used

The ID Casebook: Case Studies in Instructional Design, by Peggy A. Ertmer, James A. Quinn, Krista D. Glazewski

Topics

This is a practicum course, so we do not cover topics in a traditional sense. Each class session focused on mentoring to help students be more successful in their assigned project (for a local client).

Other Resources

Grading rubrics

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