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Tips for Making a Design Pattern

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Here are some tips for making a design pattern:

1. Start with what you know best; this may be the construct you are intending to measure or the students’ learning environment or task. Then use the design pattern to map out what you know and don’t know.

2. Your design pattern should describe a family of tasks to elicit the construct. Avoid limiting the design pattern to describing one particular task or measure (although you might start there!).

3. Think of the design pattern as a design menu; – try to list as many options as possible that might be relevant across design contexts, but…see tip #4.

4. You don’t have to be exhaustive in what you include in the design pattern. Consider who will be using it and for what purpose. You may need to include a comprehensive set of options to hand off to a development team or just a few ideas to spark further discussion with a codesign team.

5. Whatever you include, consider the overall coherence of the design pattern. Consider the ways that each component of the design works with the others and how they all work together. For example, have you specified potential observations to describe how each task product will provide evidence of the critical dimensions of the construct?

6. What is the difference between task products and potential observations? Think of the task products as things students do or make and observations as qualities of those products that help you evaluate or score student performance, strategies, knowledge or abilities?

7. When completing a design pattern, you will define the characteristic features of tasks used to measure the construct of interest. You may find that defining characteristic features is challenging because digital environments can vary significantly and, more important, because these constructs are sometimes descriptions of behaviors that can be enacted in almost any setting. Consider how you may be uniquely defining and operationalizing the constructs. Characteristic features can help you think about the specific task products (see #6 above).

8. As you think about what features of tasks are characteristic of all tasks used to measure the construct of interest and which might differ by task (i.e., variable task features), remember it depends on the focus of the design pattern. For example, interacting with peers (or avatars) may be an option in most tasks but it becomes a requirement in tasks where collaboration is meant to occur.

01 May, 14

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