A process model for developing learning design patterns with international scope

  • Nicole Lotz
  • Effie Lai-Chong Law
  • Anh Vu Nguyen-Ngoc
Development Article


This paper investigates the process of identifying design patterns in international collaborative learning environments. In this context, design patterns are referred to as structured descriptions of best practice with pre-defined sections such as problem, solution and consequences. We pay special attention to how the scope of a design pattern is identified and articulated. Based on a review of the seminal design patterns literature and current practice in the area of learning design, the lack of a more specific process description for developing patterns with international scope is identified. The paper suggests a process model for developing patterns with international scope. This model is exemplified in a case study that links the analysis of observation in international learning environments to the articulation of design patterns by identifying culturally independent core values that constitute the foundations of a design pattern with international scope. These core values are linked to recurrent learning behaviors and specific artefacts that support learning in the articulation of a design pattern. The findings contribute to gaining a deeper understanding of the pattern scoping and abstraction process in international learning environments.


Pattern development International scope Learning design 

Supplementary material

11423_2014_9333_MOESM1_ESM.doc (78 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 78 kb)


  1. Alexander, C. (1964). Notes on the synthesis of form. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Alexander, C. (1971). The state of the art in design methods. Design Methods Group Newsletter, 5(3), 3–7.Google Scholar
  3. Alexander, C. (1979). The timeless way of building. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M., Jacobson, M., Fisksdahl-King, I., & Angel, S. (1977). A pattern language: towns, buildings, construction. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Avgeriou, P., Papasalouros, A., Retalis, S., & Skordalakis, M. (2003). Towards a pattern language for learning management systems. Educational Technology and Society, 6(2), 11–24.Google Scholar
  6. Baggetun, R., Rusman, E., & Poggi, C. (2004). Learning design patterns for collaborative learning: from practice to theory and back. In L. Cantoni & C. McLoughlin (Eds.), World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2004 (pp. 2493–2498). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.Google Scholar
  7. Bergin, J. (2007). Fourteen Pedagogical Patterns. Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  8. Bhabha, H. (2005). A Humanist Who Knows Corn Flakes. Harvard Magazine. 10-11/2005. Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  9. Boling, E. (2010). The need for design cases: Disseminating design knowledge. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 1(1), 1–8. Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  10. Borchers, J. (2001). A pattern approach to interaction design. Chichester, UK: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Brouns, F., Koper, R., Manderveld, J., van Bruggen, J., Sloep, P., van Rosmalen, P., Tattersall, C., & Vogten, H. (2005). A first exploration of an inductive analysis approach for detecting learning design patterns. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, Special Issue August 2005, Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  12. Chatzigeorgiou, A., Tsantalis, N., & Deligiannis, I. (2008). An empirical study on students’ ability to comprehend design patterns. Computers and Education, 51(3), 1007–1016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cross, N. (2006). Designerly ways of knowing. London: Springer.Google Scholar
  14. del Galdo, E., & Nielsen, J. (Eds.). (1996). International user interfaces. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. Denman-Maier, E. (2004). Intercultural factors in web-based training systems. Journal of Universal Computer Science, 10(1), 90–104.Google Scholar
  16. Dimitriadis, Y., Goodyear, P. & Retalis, S. (eds.) (2009). Computers in Human Behavior Special Issue: Design Patterns for Augmenting E-Learning Experiences, 25(5), 997–1188.Google Scholar
  17. ELEN. (2005). E-len: A network of e-learning centres. Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  18. Evers, V. (2003). Cross-cultural aspects of user understanding and behavior: Evaluation of a virtual campus website by users from Japan, the US, England and the Netherlands. In Evers, V., Röse, K., Honold, P., Coronado, J., & Day, D. L.(Eds.), IWIPS 2003 (pp. 189–200). Product and Systems Internationalisation, Inc.Google Scholar
  19. Fendler, J., & Winschiers-Theophilus, H. (2010). Towards contextualised software engineering education: An African perspective. ICSE’10 (pp. 599–607). New York: ACM.Google Scholar
  20. Fincher, S. (1999). Analysis of design: An exploration of patterns and pattern languages for pedagogy. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching: Special Issue CS-ED Research, 18(3), 331–348.Google Scholar
  21. French, W., & Bell, C. (1995). Organization development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall International.Google Scholar
  22. Fussell, S.R., & Zhang, Q. (2007). Culture and collaborative technologies. CHI ‘07 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 2845–2848). New York: ACM.Google Scholar
  23. Gamma, E., Helm, R., Johnson, R., & Vlissides, J. (1994). Design patterns: Elements of reusable object-oriented software. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  24. Gibbons, A. S., Botturi, L., Boot, E., & Nelson, J. (2008). Design languages. In M. Discoll, M. D. Merill, J. V. Merrienboer & J. M. Spector (Eds.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technologies. Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  25. Goodyear, P. (2005). Educational design and networked learning: Patterns, pattern languages and design practice. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 21(1), 82–101.Google Scholar
  26. Gray, J., Finlay, J., Falconer, I., Hensman, J., Mor, Y. & Warburton, S. (2008). PlanetPattern Language Network for Web 2.0 Learning, Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  27. Guy, E. S. (2005). “…real, concrete facts about what works …”: Integrating evaluation and design through patterns. In K. Schmidt, M. Pendergast, M. Ackerman, & G. Mark (Eds.), International ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work. Group ‘05 (pp. 99–108). New York: ACM.Google Scholar
  28. Hall, E. T. (1990). Understanding cultural differences. Yarmouth, MA: Intercultural Press.Google Scholar
  29., (2008). Hillside.netyour patterns library. Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  30. Hofstede, G. (1967). Geert Hofstedes cultural dimensions. Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  31. Hofstede, G. (1986). Cultural differences in teaching and learning. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 10, 301–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hofstede, G. (1997). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind, intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  33. Eckstein, J. Bergin, J. & Sharp, H. (2002). Feedback Patterns. Paper presented at the EuroPLoP Conference 2002, Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  34. Kim, K., & Bonk, C. (2002). Cross-cultural comparisons of online collaboration. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 8(1) Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  35. Kolfschoten, G., Lukosch, S., Verbraeck, A., Valentin, E., & Jan de Vreede, G. (2008). Cognitive learning efficiency through the use of design patterns in teaching. Computers and Education, 54(3), 652–660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lawson, B. (2004). Schemata, gambits and precedent: Some factors in design expertise. Design Studies, 25(5), 443–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lee, K-P. (2003). Understanding Cultural effects on Human Interactions with Design. Paper presented at the Business of Design Week 2003. Hong Kong: HK Design Centre. Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  38. Mahemoff, M. J., & Johnston, L. J. (1999). The planet pattern language for software internationalisation. In D. Manolescu & B. Wolf (Eds.), Pattern Languages of Program Design (PLOP) Monticello, Illinois. Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  39. Mayring, P. (2000). Qualitative content analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research (On-line Journal), 1(2), Art. 20. Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  40. McAndrew, P., & Goodyear, P. (2007). Representing practitioner experiences through learning design and patterns. In Helen Beetham & Rhona Sharpe (Eds.), Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  41. Mor, Y. & Winters, N. (2008). Participatory design in open education: a workshop model for developing a pattern language. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 5(13). Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
  42. Pachler, N., Mellar, H., Daly. C., Mor, Y. & Dylan, D. (2009). Scoping a Vision for Formative e-Assessment. JISC report. Retrieved September 2010, from
  43. Patton, M. Q. (2000). Enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis. Health Services Research, 34(5), 1189–1208.Google Scholar
  44. Retalis, S. (2005). Learning design patterns and how to produce them. Retrieved from
  45. Retalis, S., Georgiakakis, P., & Dimitriadis, Y. (2006). Eliciting design patterns for e-learning systems. Computer Science Education, 16(2), 105–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rittel, H., & Webber, M. (1984). Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning. In N. Cross (ed.), Developments in Design Methodology (pp. 135–144), Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  47. Rogers, P. C., Graham, C. R., & Mayes, C. T. (2007). Cultural competence and instructional design: Exploration research into the delivery of online instruction cross-culturally. Journal Education Technology Research and Development, 55, 197–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rutkowski, A., Vogel, D., Bemelmans, T., & van Genuchten, M. (2002). Group support systems and virtual collaboration, the HKNet project. Journal of Group Decision and Negotiation, 11(2), 101–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schadewitz, N. (2009). Design patterns for cross-cultural collaboration. International Journal of Design, 3(3), 37–53.Google Scholar
  50. Schadewitz, N., & Jachna, T. (2007). Design patterns for cross-cultural computer-supported collaboration. In L. B. Hvatum & T. Schümmer (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th European conference on pattern languages of programs (EuroPLoP ’2007) (pp. 409–428), Irsee, Germany, July 4–8, 2007. UVK—Universitaetsverlag Konstanz.Google Scholar
  51. Scollon, R., & Scollon, S. W. (2001). Intercultural communication: A discourse approach (2nd ed.). Malden, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  52. Tesch, R. (1990). Qualitative research: Analysis types and software tools. New York: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  53. van Welie, M., & van der Veer, G. (2003). Pattern languages in interaction design: Structure and organization. In M. Rauterberg, M. Menozzi, & J. Wesson (Eds.), Proceedings of the IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human–Computer Interaction (pp. 527–534). Amsterdam: IOS Press.Google Scholar
  54. Vatrapu, R., & Suthers, D. (2007). Culture and computers: A review of the concept of culture and implications for intercultural collaborative online learning. In T. Ishida, S. R. Fussell, & P. T. J. M. Vossen (Eds.), IWIC 2007, LNCS 4568 (pp. 260–275). Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  55. Walker, S., & Creanor, L. (2005). Crossing complex boundaries: Transnational online education in Europe trade unions. Journal of Computer Assisted learning, 21, 343–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Winters, N., & Mor, Y. (2008). A participatory methodology for interdisciplinary design in technology enhanced learning. Computers and Education, 50(2), 579–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Winters, N., & Mor, Y. (2009). Dealing with abstraction: Case study generalisation as a method for eliciting design patterns. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(5), 1079–1088.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Yin, R. K. (1994). Case study research: Design and methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oask, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole Lotz
    • 1
  • Effie Lai-Chong Law
    • 2
  • Anh Vu Nguyen-Ngoc
    • 3
  1. 1.Engineering and InnovationOpen UniversityMilton KeynesUK
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  3. 3.Nurun Inc.QuébecCanada

Personalised recommendations