Paula's Comparisons and Reviews of the Representations
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9 April 2016
Below, I will be looking at the Healthy Eating (Lesson 2) activity and my own designed activity on referencing using the 4 Ts Model and the e-Design Template.
Readability: The 4 Ts model required a brief of explanation of how to read the chart. The 'swimming lanes', as they were referred to in the article, were clearly laid out with verticle lines, but I needed that introduction. As I looked at the overall image, I appreciated the order of the columns, moving from the task, to the people involved, to what they'd be using, to the time they'd have. I think that it flows well and that it is in a logical order. The e-Design template is similar in that it presents information in what looks like a chart with clearly labelled columns. In this case, however, it's clear that the columns are charting how students are encouraged to progress from teacher-led to student-led activities. These activities are written out in clear English, with one entry per row per activity. I felt like I could jump right in and understand this chart, making it highly readable.
Expressiveness: The 4 Ts model is much more expressive than the e-Design Template. It provides greater opportunities to expand upon each activity, allows for a seperate space to list any needed technology, and visually demonstrates progression through the model from the top to bottom via simple arrows along the left-hand side. The e-Design model is limited in its expressive abilities. Tasks must be written out all in one entry under one heading. It feels more like an Excel spreadsheet than an activity for someone to follow.
Utility: While I think both models are useful in communicating design, the 4 Ts model would likely be more useful because it allows for more information to be communicated within a fairly simple, straightforward template. The e-Design model, however, could be more useful for sharing information with those who have little to no experience with learning design but who understand the overall goal of moving students towards student-led activities and accomplishments.
When it comes to my learning activity, I think both models could do a very good job expressing my design. The 4 Ts approach would clearly lay out the setting and the various tasks, technology, and timing, but not necessarily the goals and outcomes. What it does include, however, could be easily reproduced. The e-Design model would clearly show one of the most important aims of my activity which was to ultimately get my students doing a necessary activity on their own once they went home. Like the 4 Ts model, it breaks up the activity into little chunks, but in this case it also assigns them a purpose. In my activity, however, technology is a vital element and that might not come across as clearly here as it does in the 4 Ts model. Personally, I probably would still prefer a design narrative as I enjoy expressing myself through writing, but these would be much better for showing how the underlying framework for my activity might be adapted by other instructors as they also attempt to achieve the same goals.