Level 1: Web design
Level 1: Interactve
Level 1: Emerging tech.
Level 2
Level 3
Reaction papers


Design studio overview and goals

Next week is the final week of the semester! I would like you to give a presentation on the work that you have been developing this semester. Exactly what you present is your choice, but I want it to fit into the Pecha Kucha 20 x 20 format to keep your presentation concise and fast-paced. That means:

  • Develop a timed presentation (e.g. PowerPoint, Keynote, etc.)
  • Include 20 slides
  • Each slide should show for exactly 20 seconds: Your total presentation time will be 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • Your presentation should be well coordinated with the slides
  • Be creative and have fun with the idea

Design conference on campus: April 27

Design activity 3
The term 'apps for education' is currently in vogue. Consider an 'app' that you would like to design.

  • What is the problem that is being solved or potential that is being made possible?
  • Describe/ illustrate the following:
    • How the app functions
    • The interfaces for interacting with it
    • The features that make it aesthetically pleasing
  • What are the affordances of your mobile environment that make it different from a laptop or desktop computer?
  • In your design, how are the affordances of the medium employed in ways that could not be replicated on other media?
  • Does the app support teaching and/ or learning? If so, how? Does your app fit into the Levels of Teaching framework? If so, where? If not, why not?
  • The following question addresses the question of how educational apps should be evaluated
    • Imagine that you were leading an educational app design company in which employees 'pitch' ideas for new products. How would you decide which projects to design and develop? Can you begin to develop a framework/ rubric/ decision making process?

Design activity 2
Horizon report: 2012

For each the past 11 years Educause has produced the Horizon report. In it they identify and describe emerging technologies that they believe will have a large impact on society. This year they examine technologies they believe will impact teaching, learning, and creativity. The technologies are divided into 3 categories according to the time it is envisaged that they will take to impact institutions: within the next 12 months; 2-3 years; or 4-5 years. Recent predications were as follows:

  2011 2012
1 year

Electronic books 
Mobile devices

Tablet computing
Mobile devices

2-3 years

Augmented reality 
Game-based learning

Game-based learning
Learning analytics

4-5 years

Gesture-based computing 
Learning analytics

Gesture-based computing 
Internet of things

Your task is to prepare a 10-minute presentation on the two technologies included in one of the eras. You should read the pages of the report that relate to your technology (15 minutes) and then prepare (30-45 minutes) a brief presentation in which you describe:

  • 2 key trends as described in the report (short-term group select 1 & 2; medium-term group select 3 & 4; long-term group select 5 & 6)
  • A brief description of each technology in your era
  • A summary of the main points impacting each technology

Who's using tablets?
Chronicle article

Important presentation
Lawrence Lessig to appear on campus

Instructional Design?

February 23
Pirates of Silicon Valley

Project management software
An online application to create a GANTT chart

Watch this video often!
Ira Glass on creativity

Please take the time to listen to this podcast. It is quite entertaining, but has a very serious side to it
This American Life


What is Design Studio? http://tinyurl.com/psuDS
Studio is an environment for students to apply the skills, processes, and dispositions of Interaction Design. Too often educational technologies are used for relatively low level tasks. Students will be encouraged to design innovative educational technologies-- creative ways of using technology to solve educational problems. Innovative educational technologies help people to solve various authentic educational problems in ways that have not been tried before. Completing Design Studio will also help people to identify research questions that are suitable for dissertation research and will stimulate fundable design projects.

You could think of the Studio environment as the Higher Education equivalent of the multi-age classroom. A multi-age classroom has groups of students from two or more grade levels. In multi-age classrooms students learn at their own academic level and often collaborate with each other.

The Studio is quite different from the traditional university class. Instead of enrolling in a class for a single semester, students may enroll up to 5 times. However, a student may enroll in the Studio for as little as a semester. For example, students who want to learn programming could simple enroll in the Studio for a semester to learn to use one of the interactive tools. How long a student stays in the Studio will depend on the student's goals and experience. INSYS graduate students with little background in the field will probably enroll at level 1 for at least a year in order to learn the skills and knowledge needed to thrive at level 2. Other students with a good background in diverse software tools and experience in project development might choose to enter the Studio at level 3 to gain the experience of solving a problem in a team setting.

The studio includes three levels.

Level 1: Students learn the skills needed to create educational multimedia materials, develop a perspective on the notion of innovative digital technology design, and build the confidence and knowledge needed to learn to use new digital technologies. It is anticipated that students will remain in Level 1 for at least 2 semesters unless they enter the program with well developed technical skills. Level 1 skills are divided into 5 areas covering up to 3 semesters of enrolment:


Sample software



Basic web design


HTML; CSS; etc.

Semester 1

Audio/ visual

Final Cut Pro

Creating and editing digital audio/ video

Semester 1

Visual design


Creating and editing digital images

Semester 1



Storing, editing, and deleting information from an online database

Semester 1

Interaction design

Flash or Javascipt/ jQuery/HTML5/ CSS3

Programming for novice programmers

Semester 2

Rich Internet Applications (RIAs)

Flex/ Flash Builder or ios (mobile development)

Programming for experienced programmers

Semester 3

Level 2: Students work alone on a personally important multimedia project. The project should be one that deeply interests the individual student and need not be focused on an educational topic. The scope of the project will likely be negotiated between each student and the instructor, but it should stretch the student to the skills and knowledge learned in Level 1. Students will also read further into the field of Interaction Design. At the end of the semester, students will display their work in a Studio Showcase.

Level 3: Students work on a small team to design and develop a solution to an authentic educational problem. The key here is that teams should find a real world problem as opposed to adopting an "if we build it they will come" attitude. Each project will include a client who will act as the subject matter expert. Students also will read further into the field of Interaction Design. At the end of the semester, students will display their work in a Studio Showcase.

Students in Levels 2 and 3 are expected to participate in technology-based community service. This may take many different forms (such as service to schools, workshops within the Studio, support for community groups, or the University, etc.), but it is anticipated that for students in Levels 2 and 3 the primary form will be in mentoring students at lower levels of the studio. Students will be expected to give a minimum of 10 hours of their time during each semester they are enrolled in the Studio and are expected to maintain a service log that they submit at the end of each semester or as a link on their Studio home pages/ blogs.

How will students learn?
Learning in the Studio may be unlike any other class that you have taken. Much of your learning will take place on your own, but within a supportive learning environment. In addition to access to diverse instructional materials (e.g. digital videos, books, websites), you will learn from each other, and from mini lectures from the instructor. You will be asked to complete a series of activities throughout the semester. Details on what you are expected to produce and the deadlines for submission are included on the class website. Please send me an email when you have posted each assignment and indicate the url for where each assignment is posted.

When you begin Design Studio most activities will be highly scripted. However, as you move through the levels you will find less and less 'hand-holding' and more responsibility for learning will be placed on your shoulders. I will tell you when I expect you to be able to produce, but how you achieve the outcomes will be driven in large part by your own insights and motivations.

You will also complete a series of readings which vary from level-to-level within the Studio. Several of the readings require you to complete a short reflection paper, to post your paper online for comment from other class members, and to post responses to a minimum of two other reaction papers each time you posts a paper. Please note the deadlines for completing the reaction papers as it is very important to engage in discussions about the readings. Also, note that all reaction papers must be posted by the dates assigned within each section of the relevant Design Studio website. You will receive full credit if your paper summarizes the main points of each paper and you write a statement indicating your personal reaction to the article.

What software will students use?
In Level 1 of Design Studio, students work on a series of technology projects that require considerable expertise with various multimedia tools. For example, learning databases involves working with mySQL and PHP. Resources are provided to teach students to use these tools, access to the tools is provided (for free whenever possible) and server space provided to store your work. Should you prefer, you are welcome to use your own technology. For example, I will show you how to use PHP to work with databases, but some students might prefer to complete the database assignments using Microsoft's Active Server Pages (i.e. asp) or Adobe's Cold Fusion. Similarly, instead of working with Flex (i.e. Flash Builder), you might want to develop iPad apps using Objective-C/ Cocoa. I do not mind which technologies you use, however, please understand that I will only be able to support the technology described in these pages.

Design activities
We will complete 3 in-class design activities during the semester that will involve working in teams to develop solutions to design problems.

Important site/ papers

Adobe museum

National Education Technology Plan 2010

Great resource!


Where can you go for help?

Adobe forums