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Sally's comparison of 4Ts and DPD

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Sally Parsley
12 April 2014

I chose the 4Ts and DPD models models as examining two different aspects of learning design - the practical and the evidence-base.

Readability and expressiveness

I found both these models readble and understandable although I did use the 4Ts' task descriptions to get to grips with the DPD's list of features. Both were more abstract (the DPD more so) and less expressive than the Design narrative version.


The 4Ts model looks straightforward to apply - it's a practical everyday tool I can imagine using to visualise and share learning designs with teachers (I am a technologist).  The DPD model is a quick'n dirty literature review and is very useful for research into, and reflection on, the theoretical approach underpinning a learning design. If i had the time (!) I would love to carry out a DPD and use it to inform my practical 4Ts design.

The 4Ts model presumes a collaborative & activity based approach to learning and presupposes knowledge of the theories and assumptions underpinning this approach  - e..g situatedness of learning 

Persico et al., 2013 suggest using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to support the selection of technology - I think this is good advice and perhaps could be extended to at least, consider, other key aspects in the design. For example, in the Design narrative model - the narrator mentions that the light from outside obscured the students' view of the whiteboard. I can't see how to get that info into a 4Ts model without a SWOT.

A last thought - Persico et al., 2013 suggest that learning designs haven't traditionally been very strong on the implementation or evaluation aspects of learning. One way to make this more explicit in the DPD model would be to extend and explain which element of a learning system is being examined fr each feature. For example by assigning one of the 5 domains in the ADDIE model mentioned by Persico et al., 2013 as shown below

A. Feature in the Healthy Eating lesson
Personal data collection activity: “The teacher sets as a home activity for each group to record two people’s food over three days.”

B. Relevant pragmatic design principle from the DPD
lack of personally applicable learning content leads to low student engagement (Duschl, Schweingruber, & Shouse, 2007)).

C. Domain being examined: Implementation

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