Design Studios: Learning from Designing

From integrating engineering projects into K-12 education to new problem-solving processes in business, design thinking is an idea that is finding its way into areas that previously did not include such an approach. Many educators are finding that design projects provide authentic collaborative learning opportunities.

Designing thinking can also guide one’s approach to planning a course. Designing an online or hybrid course for the first time can be extremely challenging. For instructors who someday may teach in these modalities, planning a “blended activity” for a face-to-face course is a useful learning experience that serves as a great preparation for online or blended teaching. This planning process, including thinking around technology integration, benefits from a collaborative problem-solving approach. During last June’s Summer Technology Institute hosted by eLIS, instructional designers worked with small groups of faculty on identifying and working on such design projects. The week-long time period for the Institute was conducive to such work because it allowed the inclusion of both individual reflective time and collaborative discourse. The important interplay between these learning and thinking modes supports the challenging work of transforming face-to-face learning experiences into online or blended ones.

We encourage faculty members to approach this work as experimental and to consider pilot-testing the design and learning from the first iteration. If you would to learn more about how eLIS can support work of this type, please, please contact or email John McCormick or Sarah Krongard.