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Participatory design in open education: a workshop model for developing a pattern language

Yishay Mor, and Niall Winters. Journal of Interactive Media (2008)

Abstract

Technologically enhanced learning environments raise complex challenges for their designers, developers and users. Design patterns and pattern languages have recently emerged as a potential framework for addressing some of these challenges. However, the uptake of design patterns has been slow outside of the computer science community. We argue that this is largely a consequence of a weak positioning of pattern languages, as a form of delivering expert knowledge to layperson, and suggest an alternative view: the development of a pattern language as a community endeavour. In terms of open education, the workshop model can be viewed as an open production process for developing educational resources, in our case design patterns. We propose a model of pattern elicitation workshops, in which collaborative development of a pattern language provides a framework for sharing design knowledge within interdisciplinary communities. This model was iteratively developed at five international conferences. It was then postulated as a design pattern itself, encompassing a series of practices and a set of supporting tools. We believe this model could be applied in a broad range of communities concerned with the development of open digital educational resources.

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