Educational Technology Research and Development

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 125–145 | Cite as

The process of designing for learning: understanding university teachers’ design work

Development Article

Abstract

Interest in how to support the design work of university teachers has led to research and development initiatives that include technology-based design-support tools, online repositories, and technical specifications. Despite these initiatives, remarkably little is known about the design work that university teachers actually do. This paper presents findings from a qualitative study that investigated the design processes of 30 teachers from 16 Australian universities. The results show design as a top-down iterative process, beginning with a broad framework to which detail is added through cycles of elaboration. Design extends over the period before, while, and after a unit is taught, demonstrating the dynamic nature of design and highlighting the importance of reflection in teachers’ design practice. We present a descriptive model of the design process, which we relate to conceptualizations of higher education teaching and learning, and compare with the characteristics of general design and instructional design. We also suggest directions for future research and development.

Keywords

Educational design Design process Design support Higher education Teacher design University teaching 

References

  1. Becher, T., & Trowler, P. (2001). Academic tribes and territories: Intellectual enquiry and the culture of disciplines. Buckingham: SHRE & Open University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bennett, S., Thomas, L., Agostinho, S., Lockyer, L., Jones, J., & Harper, B. (2011). Understanding the design context for Australian university teachers: Implications for the future of learning design. Learning, Media and Technology, 36(2), 151–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Biggs, J. (1993). What do inventories of students’ learning processes really measure? A theoretical review and clarification. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 63(1), 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Biggs, J. (2003). Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does. Ballmoor: Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Boschman, F., McKenney, S., & Voogt, J. (2014). Understanding decision making in teachers’ curriculum design approaches. Educational Technology Research and Development, 62(4), 393–416. doi:10.1007/s11423-014-9341-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brinkmann, S. (2013). Qualitative interviewing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clark, C. M., & Yinger, R. J. (1977). Research on teacher thinking. Curriculum Inquiry, 7(4), 279–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Conole, G. (2013). Designing for learning in an open world. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Creswell, J. (2012). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Cross, N. (2006). Designerly ways of knowing. London: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  11. Cross, S., Conole, G., Clark, P., Brasher, A., & Weller, M. (2008). Mapping a landscape of learning design: Identifying key trends in current practice at the Open University. Presented at the 2008 European LAMS Conference, Cadiz, Spain. Retrieved from http://lams2008.lamsfoundation.org/refereed_papers.htm.
  12. Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2011). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  13. Do, E. Y.-L., & Gross, M. D. (2001). Thinking with diagrams in architectural design. In A. F. Blackwell (Ed.), Thinking with diagrams (pp. 135–149). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  14. Elbaz, F. (1991). Research on teachers’ knowledge: The evolution of a discourse. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 23(1), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ertmer, P. A. (2005). Teacher pedagogical beliefs: The final frontier in our quest for technology integration? Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(4), 25–39. doi:10.1007/BF02504683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ertmer, P. A., Stepich, D. A., York, C. S., Stickman, A., Wu, X. L., Zurek, S., et al. (2008). How instructional design experts use knowledge and experience to solve ill-structured problems. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 21(1), 17–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gale, T. (2011). Student equity’s starring role in Australian higher education. Australian Educational Researcher, 38, 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Goldschmidt, G. (1998). Creative architectural design: Reference versus precedence. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 15(3), 258–270.Google Scholar
  19. Goodyear, P. (2015). Teaching as design. HERDSA Review of Higher Education, 2, 27–50.Google Scholar
  20. Hoogveld, A. W., Paas, F., Jochems, W. M., & Van Merriënboer, J. J. (2002). Exploring teachers’ instructional design practices from a systems design perspective. Instructional Science, 30(4), 291–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. James, R., Bexley, E., Anderson, A., Devlin, M., Garnett, R., Marginson, S., et al. (2012). Participation and equity: A review of the participation in higher education of people from low socioeconomic backgrounds and Indigenous people. Centre for the Study of Higher Education: University of Melbourne.Google Scholar
  22. Jones, J., Bennett, S., and Lockyer, L. (2011). Applying a learning design to the design of a university unit: A single case study. In T. Bastiaens and M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of world conference on educational multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications (pp. 3340–3349). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.Google Scholar
  23. Kali, Y., Goodyear, P., & Markauskaite, L. (2011). Researching design practices and design cognition: Contexts, experiences and pedagogical knowledge-in-pieces. Learning, Media and Technology, 36(2), 129–149. doi:10.1080/17439884.2011.553621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kerr, S. T. (1983). Inside the black box: Making design decisions for instruction. British Journal of Educational Technology, 14(1), 45–58. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.1983.tb00448.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kirschner, P. A. (2015). Do we need teachers as designers of technology enhanced learning? Instructional Science. doi:10.1007/s11251-015-9346-9.Google Scholar
  26. Kirschner, P., Carr, C., Merriënboer, J., & Sloep, P. (2002). How expert designers design. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 15(4), 86–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Krause, J., Krause, K., & Jennings, C. (2009). The first-year experience in Australian universities: Findings from 1994 to 2009. Centre for the Study of Higher Education: Melbourne University.Google Scholar
  28. Laurillard, D. (2012). Teaching as a design science: Pedagogical patterns for learning and technology. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Laurillard, D. (2013). Rethinking university teaching: A conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Laurillard, D., Charlton, P., Craft, B., Dimakopoulos, D., Ljubojevic, D., Magoulas, G., et al. (2013). A constructionist learning environment for teachers to model learning designs: Modelling learning designs. Journal of Computer Assisted learning, 29(1), 15–30. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00458.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Le Maistre, C. (1998). What is an expert instructional designer? Evidence of expert performance during formative evaluation. Educational Technology Research and Development, 46(3), 21–36. doi:10.1007/BF02299759.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lee, J., & Jang, S. (2014). A methodological framework for instructional design model development: Critical dimensions and synthesized procedures. Educational Technology Research and Development, 62(6), 743–765. doi:10.1007/s11423-014-9352-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Littlejohn, A. (2004). The effectiveness of resources, tools and support services used by practitioners in designing and delivering e-Learning activities: Final report. Retrieved from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/Final%20report%20(final).doc.
  34. Masterman, E., & Manton, M. (2011). Teachers’ perspectives on digital tools for pedagogic planning and design. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 20(2), 227–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McCutcheon, G. (1980). How do elementary school teachers plan? The nature of planning and influences on it. The Elementary School Journal, 81(1), 4–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McKeachie, W. J. (1990). Research on college teaching: The historical background. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(2), 189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McKenney, S., Kali, Y., Markauskaite, L., & Voogt, J. (2015a). Teacher design knowledge for technology enhanced learning: An ecological framework for investigating assets and needs. Instructional Science. doi:10.1007/s11251-014-9337-2.Google Scholar
  38. McKenney, S., Kali, Y., Markauskaite, L., & Voogt, J. (2015b). Teacher design knowledge for technology enhanced learning: an ecological framework for investigating assets and needs. Instructional Science. doi:10.1007/s11251-014-9337-2.Google Scholar
  39. Mor, Y., & Craft, B. (2012). Learning design: Reflections upon the current landscape. Research in Learning Technology. doi:10.3402/rlt.v20i0.19196.Google Scholar
  40. Nagai, Y., & Noguchi, H. (2003). An experimental study on the design thinking process started from difficult keywords: Modeling the thinking process of creative design. Journal of Engineering Design, 14(4), 429–437. doi:10.1080/09544820310001606911.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Patton, M. Q. (2014). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  42. Perez, R. S., & Emery, C. D. (1995). Designer thinking: How novices and experts think about instructional design. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 8(3), 80–95. doi:10.1111/j.1937-8327.1995.tb00688.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Postareff, L., & Lindblom-Ylänne, S. (2008). Variation in teachers’ descriptions of teaching: Broadening the understanding of teaching in higher education. Learning and Instruction, 18(2), 109–120. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2007.01.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Prosser, M., & Trigwell, K. (1997). Relations between perceptions of the teaching environment and approaches to teaching. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 67(1), 25–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ramsden, P. (2003). Learning to teach in higher education (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Razzouk, R., & Shute, V. (2012). What is design thinking and why is it important? Review of Educational Research, 82(3), 330–348. doi:10.3102/0034654312457429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rowland, G. (1992). What do instructional designers actually do? An initial investigation of expert practice. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 5(2), 65–86. doi:10.1111/j.1937-8327.1992.tb00546.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Seidman, I. (2013). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in education and the social sciences. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  49. Shulman, L. S. (2005). Signature pedagogies in the professions. Daedalus, 134(3), 52–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Stark, J. S. (2000). Planning introductory college courses: Content, context and form. Instructional Science, 28(5), 413–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education, Early Start Research InstituteUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  2. 2.School of EducationMacquarie UniversityNorth RydeAustralia

Personalised recommendations