Issue 6 – May 2013

Welcome to Educational Designer #6

Welcome to the latest issue of Educational Designer - a free journal established by the International Society for Design and Development in Education with the goal of improving the design and systematic development of educational materials. This issue contains discussion on the formal education of designers; considerations for embedding diagnostic assessments into immersive technology-based learning; and reflections on the design and development of VisualMath, an award-winning algebra curriculum.

We remind readers that Educational Designer welcomes new articles reflecting alignment with the guide to contributors. Also, we encourage readers to respond to existing Educational Designer articles through extended responses (e.g. see Paul Black's reaction to Alan Schoenfeld's piece on the cultures of educational research and design). Meanwhile, a special issue on formative assessment is being developed; suggestions for contributions are most welcome.

Susan McKenney
for the Editors

Formal education of curriculum and instructional designers

Susan McKenney & Irene Visscher-Voerman

In practice, few researchers and designers have strong conceptual understanding of the marriage between the design discipline and scientific research traditions. Rather, most have strong exposure to either research methodologies or instructional design methods, theories and/or practices. Within the Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, the University of Twente offers an education program in which design and research traditions are intertwined. This paper examines the ways in which research and design are brought together in Twente’s educational program, and offers critical reflections on how it might be better aligned with recent developments which place high value on design research and especially the societal relevance of (in this case, educational) research.

McKenney, S., Visscher-Voerman, I. (2013) Formal education of curriculum and instructional designers. Educational Designer, 2(6).
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Opportunities and Challenges in Embedding Diagnostic Assessments into Immersive Interfaces

Chris Dede

Some types of technology-based learning-by-doing environments are tightly structured in several respects. The phenomenon to be studied is clearly defined, without extraneous or unrelated information clouding the situation. Also, at each decision point, the range of possible actions is limited to a few alternatives, all directly related to the phenomenon rather than possibly off-task. Well-understood methods are available for collecting and analyzing data about student behaviors in these environments.

In contrast, this paper focuses on less well understood, immature methods for the more problematic challenge of embedding diagnostic assessments in open-ended learning experiences created by immersive interfaces.

Dede, C. (2013) Opportunities and Challenges in Embedding Diagnostic Assessments into Immersive Interfaces. Educational Designer, 2(6).
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A Designer Speaks: Michal Yerushalmy

Teaching algebra for understanding requires a shift toward mathematical reasoning, away from merely memorizing procedures. To this end we developed a guided inquiry, technology-based algebra curriculum: Visual Math (LIR’OT MATEMATICA, in Hebrew. The design of VisualMath is rooted in the philosophical stance in favor of mathematical reasoning and in socio-cultural pedagogical practices. I argue that in order to design for an inquiry curriculum in school mathematics, it is important to develop a perspective toward the subject matter and to design in a way that reflects this perspective.

Yerushalmy, M. (2013) Designing for Inquiry Curriculum in School Mathematics. Educational Designer, 2(6).
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ISSN 1759-1325