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Developing Instruction for Teaching Design Process

Here is a brief outline of the page-summary's introduction`:

Objectives:  "I want to work cooperatively with other educators to develop instruction for teaching Design Process, using teacher-guided classroom activities and/or computer-based interactive modules."

Why:  This would produce benefits for students and teachers.

Collaboration:  "I'll be happy to talk informally with other educators," and later maybe "we can use my ideas in your current work, or develop new projects."

Two Kinds of Strategies:  Design Process can help students use metacognition to develop-and-apply improved Coordination Strategies (for doing Inquiry) and other kinds of Strategies for Thinking to improve Learning-and-Performing.

Two Sequences for Instruction:  To teach Principles of Design Process, we can use a Sequence of Experience-Reflection-Principles and a simple-to-complex Sequence of Principles.


Below, the rest of the page-summary is expanded to explore the benefits and challenges of metacognition and its potential applications for instruction.



Benefits and Challenges of Metacognition

WHY — In other pages the many benefits of metacognition are summarized — by quoting psychologists & educators who explain why metacognition can be very useful, and linking to pages they have written — and are examined more thoroughly.  Other why-responses are in An Ideas-and-Skills Curriculum which describes how Design Process can promote education with productively supportive interactions between a wide variety of ideas (conceptual knowledge) and skills (procedural knowledge), offering many benefits for students.

WHAT — During instruction the main function of Design Process is to promote metacognition, to help students develop cognitive-and-metacognitive Strategies for Thinking.  But using Design Process also can provide direct cognitive benefits, as in helping students understand the natures of design & science.

HOW — This page looks at strategies for designing instruction that more effectively combines Design Process with other ways to help students learn.


1. Regulating Metacognition:  In an effort to optimize metacognition (to maximize its positives and minimize its negatives), we can use a creative process of design — based on the art-and-science of empathetic metacognition that teachers use to make decisions about guiding — to design instruction that includes on-and-off metacognition in which we sometimes make reflection requests (by calling attention to "what can be learned" and asking students to remember and think about what they did, how well it worked, and why) before or after an activity, or during low-action interludes in the activity.

2. Maintaining Flow-and-Fun:  In addition to regulating metacognition, we can design reflection requests so they also are interesting, so the level of interest is high for both the activity itself and for the metacognitive reflection.  But the instruction-strategies for producing “student interest" typically would be different for the activity (inquiry, game, case study,...) and the metacognitive reflection.

3. Enjoyment + Satisfaction:  And sometimes it's useful to supplement short-term enjoying (of an activity) with motivational persuasion so students will want to also pursue long-term learning that will help them achieve long-term satisfactions, as explained in Tennis and Other Games.


I.O.U. — Soon, maybe in late-May or June, the rest of this page will develop these ideas more thoroughly, including the ways you see in [[rough-outline form]] below:


1. Regulating Metacognition

[[ two general approaches — standalone course (for study skills, etc) or integrated into regular content-courses — each offers benefits, so I'll quote my page about this and will link to that page ]]

[[ One way to regulate metacognition by "sometimes making reflection requests... before or after an activity, or during low-action interludes in the activity" is to use WRAPPERS -- One useful program, used mainly for an "integrated" approach within a content-course, was developed by Marsha Lovett at Carnegie Mellon U, using metacognitive "wrappers" with questions that promote reflection before and after activities (lectures, homework, exams). ]]

[[ probably the quality of wrapper-questions is a major factor in effectiveness;  but how important, compared with just promoting reflection? ]]

[[ Marsha uses an SRL Cycle that is similar to Design Process, for developing-and-applying Strategies for Learning-and-Performing;  I'll learn more about HOW she uses this model for wrappers and in other ways for promoting metacognition ]]


2. Maintaining Flow-and-Fun

[[ I'll develop this later, maybe in June. ]]


3. Enjoyment + Satisfaction

[[ In this section, I'll comment on these main themes of Tennis and Other Games which is about combining Short-Term Fun and Long-Term Satisfaction -- We can motivate students to place a higher value on "personally useful" activities (that "will help them achieve their goals for life" by improving their design-thinking skills), compared with activities that are merely "fun now."   For example, consider a context where students can learn more if they place a higher value on Personal Education:  if they are focusing only on “the thrill of victory” in pursuing a design objective [as in playing an educational game?],* remind them about the joys of long-term victories, to shift their value-weighting from only-performing toward also-learning. ]] [[ When we think about integrating "requests for metacognitive reflection" into games, using some Motivational Persuasion might be necessary and useful. ]]



[[ These ideas will be integrated into the page structure (Benefits & Challenges, 1-2-3) above, or maybe put into a separate new section:

[[ Instruction using POE (Predict-Observe-Explain) could be a useful intermediate scaffolding-step for students and teachers, to help them understand the essence of scientific logic, a process of learning in which Design Process might be useful. ]]

[[ The overview shows that metacognition is used for many purposes — to help students achieve many worthy educational goals for ideas-and-skills and for their own Personal Education — so instructional strategies to promote metacognition can be used for many kinds of activities. #mctwo ]]

[[ the purpose is listed as "Coordination Strategies" but in both contexts (classroom & computer) "what can be learned" is not limited to skills (to be coordinated with strategies) but there also is learning of ideas, and while these are happening students can also develop-and-apply Learning Strategies for Personal Education. #is ]]

[[ there is a wide range of goals/benefits (by using metacognition in general, and Design Process in particular) within each activity ]]


Using Video Games for Education:  In the future, this could be an important component of education.   I.O.U. - And in the future (maybe in June) I'll write more about it here.




Useful Tools for Developing Modules

Hopefully we (fellow collaborators and me) will find technical tools to help us develop computer-based modules more easily, so we can focus on the creative aspects of designing activities that are educationally effective and enjoyable for students.

For example, two major features of this website — especially its two-frame format (to keep a page visible while you explore its links, which open in the other frame) and also its double-links (that change both frames with one click) — were inspired by an excellent software authoring tool, Case Scenario / Critical Reader Builder (CSCRB), developed at UW-Madison, and available for educators at non-profit academic institutions.

For various reasons, I decided to develop the website using other tools, but doing this required a lot more work, and most module-authors would be wise to skip this work and simply use CSCRB, which makes it quick-and-easy to do a variety of cool things — the two features I used, plus others (rollovers, pop-up windows, and more) — so they can "focus on the creative aspects" of achieving their educational objectives.

In the next phase of development, making modules for students, we can look for suitable tools (CSCRB or others) that will make the development process easier, and the results more effective.