Design Process - Teaching Creative-and-Critical Innovation
We use creative-and-critical thinking, in a process of design, for almost everything in life. This wide scope lets teachers in all areas combine "design experiences" with logical principles of Design Process (a systematic framework for flexible improvisation)* to help students improve their innovative problem-solving skills, and develop metacognitive strategies for better learning, thinking, and performing. (*website, bit.ly/Z3rzVI, extends my PhD work) I want to collaborate with other educators to explore possibilities and develop innovative applications.
And here is my description for the poster session in May 2012, connecting Design Process with UW's Essential Learning Oucomes and The Wisconsin Idea (which was UW's theme for 2012) to describe how we can help students learn more from their educational experiences at UW-Madison:
Using Experience-plus-Principles to Help Students Learn More
A combination of experience and principles is more educationally effective than experience by itself. A logical-yet-flexible model of Scientific Method, developed for my PhD project, was later generalized to describe the creative-and-critical Process of Design we use for almost everything in life.
By supplementing educationally useful experiences with reflections on experience, plus principles of Design Process, we can help students achieve UW’s Essential Learning Outcomes — by improving their "inquiry & analysis, critical & creative thinking, problem solving" in challenging projects, and essential "skills for lifelong learning" when they design metacognitive strategies to increase the quality of their own learning, thinking, and performance, and (because students use design thinking in all areas of life, so it can act as a bridge between areas) they are learning design-skills that will transfer "across the curriculum" and (when they actualize the Wisconsin Idea of serving others) "to new settings" in life outside UW — during the high-impact design activities in their Wisconsin Experience.
Many innovative applications are possible. I want to collaborate with others to explore ideas and develop possibilities.
Below are ideas that might be especially interesting-and-relevant for other educators at UW-Madison:
UW's program for Educational Innovation is outlined by Chancellor David Ward in An Invitation to Participate on January 27, 2012. He describes a "fiscal predicament" — because "the resources available to us to provide a quality education are no longer adequate" at UW-Madison, and other campuses in the UW System, due to large budget cuts — and a response: "Educational Innovation is a campuswide, coordinated effort to create a sustained campus environment that maintains and enhances student learning while increasing capacities and generating new revenue."
The website for Educational Innovation has tabs (for "about", "why innovate?",...) that provide more information.
The ideas in my website could help us "maintain and enhance student learning," although currently I have no proposals for "generating new revenue."
If you're curious, wondering “what are these ideas?”, you can begin exploring in the homepage`*, which offers a brief summary, plus links to a longer summary and a page explaining why I'm "confidently optimistic, yet humble, about my claims that Design Process might be very useful in education, so its possibilities are worth exploring and developing." There is also a Verbal-and-Visual Overview of the website, plus the main Sitemap, and more.
* This link for "right side" (or the top-of-page link for "left frame") puts the homepage in the right-side frame, and this page goes into the left-side frame so it will remain open when you use its links to open pages in the right-frame.
Here are some possibilities: (IOU - this section will be revised by mid-June, and links will be changed so they take you to the page-summaries for each page)
Because the principles of Design Process can help students learn more from their experiences, it should be generally useful in all education.
For practical reasons, I think Design Process could be especially valuable for improving education at the K-12 level — check Educational Bridges & A Wide Spiral Curriculum & Design of Curriculum & Instruction & the New K-12 Science Education Standards for 2012 — and K-12 education will be a priority for some of you.
But for most educators at UW, education at the college level is your main priority, so here are a few of the ways that Design Process could be useful at UW:
• most of the K-12 ideas also apply for UW, especially building Educational Bridges – its first part explains how we can build bridges (from life to design and back into life) that will increase Motivations to Learn and Transfers of Learning;
• you can encourage students to develop cognitive-and-metacognitive Strategies for Learning and suggest strategies that you think will be especially useful for helping students learn more in your courses;
• I want to develop computer-based instruction modules that will make it easier for teachers to use Design Process, but these modules are not available now.