Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Greyhouse - Wednesday at 11:30

Hi all,

This is our final meet time - come with a one page (one object?) overview of your paper as a way to tell us what you did and what you got out of it. Remember, it doesn't need to say everything - it just needs to set up the conversation.

Everyone will have about 8 minutes to give us an overview and time to ask questions. This will be relatively informal. I will put some examples on blackboard - but don't feel constrained to these. The goal is to communicate what you've been doing and to "intrigue" us to ask questions to find out more.

Oh - and I'll buy the coffees / cocoas / teas and stuff to nibble :)

Don't forget to do course evaluations - and you can use the Blog to share it with the group. If you'd rather not be "open" about it - then at least do it for yourself as a placeholder of what you took away from the experience. I fully anticipate there is room for improvement and have very much enjoyed doing this class with you all.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Celebrating...and a question

By now you should have all received the email about course evaluations. Please take the 5 minutes to do these - I value your input and take it into account.

Also - respond to this particular post if you would like to move our "final" (which is essentially sharing an overview of our various final projects) to an evening event at my house with food and drinks (and big dog). I realize some of you have family and this may not work for you - but if we can get a sense of this by Wednesday we can make the right decision for all of us

Week 16 - Trajectories and Personas

Ok - the last chunk of reading - and hopefully an enjoyable set. Everyone should read the Crismond article and the Dorst/Lawson chapter on expertise that are already up on Blackboard. Crismond is speaking more to K-12 students, and the other chapter is speaking more to undergraduate and beyond. Read them from the perspective of trying to fill in some of the blanks from last week - about what changes as novices become experts. We had some hypotheses - how do these play out?

As for the last thing to read - you are to choose one of 2 chapters in Dorst/Lawson. One is speaking more to the "novice" (being a novice) end of the continuum, and one to the "professional end" (becoming a professional). Remember to tell each other which one you plan to read - and make sure that there are at least a couple people on each chapter. These are all easy reads :)

For our last class we're going to jump right into the idea of creating personas (there is an overview on Blackboard if you are interested). Personas are summaries of "typical" people - for us, typical design learners or designers. We'll work in pairs creating at least one persona of a typical learner or designer with a goal of using the persona as a way to synthesize what we understand about features of design knowing and learning - and then use the personas to imagine "if this person was in my classroom or workplace, what might I anticipate they would struggle with - and how might I help them learn or be a better designer?"

I should have the scanned pdf's of the last 2 chapters up on Blackboard soon - I have been having a problem with scanning them and should get it working soon.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Week 15 - Expert / Novice differeces

Thanks to Meagan these are our summaries and hypotheses from this week:

We have two more sets of readings - they represent a culmination of the two major parts of this course (e.g., the first weeks on "what is design knowledge or knowing" and the later weeks on "what is design cognition and learning").

This week it's all about exploring how novices and experts differ - one is a particular study that builds off of the data we've been using in class (Atman et al), one is an overview (Cross), and one is a focus on creative designers (Cross).

As you read these papers, reflect back on our prior readings and activities (such as analyzing design data last week). For example, what stands out as consistent themes that tell a story about how novices and experts differ? How can our past readings and activities help us understand why these differences might exist? Can you imagine a "typical" design student and what they might struggle with in terms of learning how to design (and ground it in these readings and others)? (This last question is a foreshadowing of our final synthesis activity - creating "personas" of typical design learners (K-12, undergraduate, graduate, practicing) to imagine ways to support their learning or more effective design practice. "Personas" are a strategy in human-centered design that helps designers understand "the problem" and evaluate potential solutions.)

As a heads up to the next week - the focus will be on thinking of expert-novice differences in terms of learning trajectories - how designers change over time in terms of what they know about design.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Preparation for Week 13 - analyzing design activity

In two weeks an analysis of design activity will be due in class. Respond to this post with what type of data you might like to analyze to "try out" the ideas we've been discussing in class. I've included some information on how much data there is (you will only have a subset - so that this is feasible!).
  • Drawings of design professionals' representations of design (typically 1 page - 18 cases)
  • Debriefs in response to a model of design (24 freshmen, 26 seniors, 18 professionals) (typically 2-5 pages)
  • Think alouds of individuals designing a playground (24 freshmen, 26 seniors, 18 professionals) (typically 15-25 pages, typically 1-3 hours of activity)
  • Videotapes (with transcripts) of 2 engineering design team meetings (7 professionals) (1.5 hour meetings, transcripts around 20 pages)
  • Videotapes (with transcripts) of 2 architect design team meetings (architect and 2 clients) (1.5 hour meetings, transcripts around 20 pages)
  • Design reports - defrief on "lessons learned" of engineering freshmen on a design team (18 teams, typically 1-2 pages)
  • "Cases" of design processes in industry from the Design Council
The data will be posted on Blackboard. I'll also try to put folks in teams so you can talk through what you observe and why.

    Week 12 - Situated Cognition and Sketching

    This marks our last week into theories of human learning and how design researchers draw on these to try to understand what designers do, what they know, and how they learn.

    The Fish and Scrivener article (9 pages!!!) is the "high level" read that describes how sketching and visual imagery helps us think. The Goldschmidt article (1991) is a well known paper that describes how design sketching and visual imagery supports design thinking. Everyone should read these two.

    Half the group should read the Blanco article and half the Goldschmidt and Smolkov article - as an example of applying these ideas to design activity. The Blanco article looks at how sketching is used in collaborative design. The other article looks at how visual stimuli influences designing.

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    Week 11: Situated cognition view of design

    The readings for this week give:
    • An overview of situated cognition theory and how it relates to learning (Greeno) - a little tough as a read - keep in mind that he is talking across behaviorist, cognition, situated cognition views and trying to pull them together
    • An overview of design as situated cognition (Visser) - good stuff, not always the easiest person to read :)
    • Read ONE of the papers by Dony or Crilly et al as an example of what it looks like to use these theories to student design (use the blog to let others know which one you are reading)

    Down the road - next week I'll put up a post on the "analyzing design" Nov 18 project - to get a sense of what kinds of data people want to look at.

    To keep it fun: Explore this link - what does this say about design thinking?