Emre compares representations: 4Ts vs DPD

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Emre Acaroglu
28 March 2017

i want to compare the 4Ts model with the DPD model on this example of Healthy eating design for H800. i have chosen these two because i think they present/represent different facets in planning the same activity.

first, the 4Ts:

  • its ‘readability’ (i.e. the ease with which you understood the content)

it is relatively easy to understand the concept and how to use it. especially looking at the schematic that had been provided, one feels that one can start using this representation right away.

  • its expressiveness

this representation covers pretty much everything you need to know about the designed activity at the very moment you look at it. all relevant features (the 4Ts) are clearly defined and expressed. 

  • its utility (i.e. their usefulness in communicating important aspects of the design).

there is a clear advantage to this representation in regard to its utility, which applies to the designs communicatibility as well as its reproducibility. i can imagine that had we distributed this design schematic to different tutor/student pairings, each and everyone would end up pretty much performing the same activity and achieving very comparable outcomes.

and now the DPD:

  • its ‘readability’ (i.e. the ease with which you understood the content)

this representation is fairly easy to understand as well, although, not as much as the 4Ts. we have the table with the 4 principles, which are paired with features in the activity. 

  • its expressiveness

this representation foretells the designer what to do and why. this why component was not very strong in the 4Ts representation but assumes a definitive  role here. i think this allows for or may be better applicable to backward planning of such events; i.e, you delineate your principles first and decide upon the technologies and features that would correspond to these principles in the second phase. we konw what we want to achieve, it is up to us what we do for it.

  • its utility (i.e. their usefulness in communicating important aspects of the design).

its utility is very different compared to the 4Ts as well. it communicates the principles to be applied but not necessarily the specific tasks and timing. this makes DPD more useful in understanding why you do an activity but much less useful in understanding how to do it. this may create problems with reproducability. looking at the DPD design table for this particular activity, it is easy to visuailse that it can not translate to the same exact time and task allocations when performed by different teams. This aspect may or may not be a disadvantage, depending on the experience level of the tutors involved in the activity.

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jany watson
5:10am 3 November 2017


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