Towards a map of existing representations for learning design
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15 November 2012
by Pozzi F., Persico D.,
Designing a learning activity (whose granularity may vary: it can be a small unit, a course module or a whole course) is one of the most crucial activity a teacher is required to do. Representing the product of the design process, that is the “design”, basically responds to the need of communicating the design to ‘others’; where ‘others’ may be: students, who need to be informed about what they are supposed to do; other teachers, who need to coordinate their work with a class; other practitioners and designers, who may wish to reuse or and share existing practices;. researchers, who may be interested in piloting educational interventions oriented to test some kind of innovation in a class; a computer, that may be able to “read” a formal representation and thus automatically configure a learning environment where the activity can be enacted; and, last but not least, the teacher herself, who may need to use representations during the design process as a ‘maieutic tool’, to help her make the rationale behind the design decisions explicit.
As a consequence of these different communication needs, there is a variety of existing representations, which differ for type, purpose, end-user, etc.. In this rich panorama it may be difficult for practitioners and novice users to orient themselves. This paper is an attempt to make order out the chaos of the existing design representations, even if the borders between the different categories identified is rather blurred.
In this contribution a framework of dimensions is proposed and illustrated, mainly with the aim of classifying different approaches and to design representation as well as identifying and discussing the areas where more research work is needed.
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