Using Technology Probes to Understand Educational Design Spaces

Authored by: Madeline Balaam

Handbook of Design in Educational Technology

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415807340
eBook ISBN: 9780203075227
Adobe ISBN: 9781135118969


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Learner-centred design (LCD) is an orientation to design that focuses on the needs, motivations, requirements and practices of the learner and, ideally, also the context within which the learning interaction is taking place. In doing so, the designer hopes to create an intervention that works to provide a rich, effective learning experience for the learner in question (Good & Robertson, 2006). There are many possible ways of involving a learner in the process of LCD. LCD can be interpreted as the designer deeply engaging with theory to infer a learner’s needs. Taking this approach, the end product is informed by an understanding of learners’ needs and practices as derived from theory. LCD can also be concerned with involving a learner in the testing of high-fidelity prototypes to ensure that the product is easy to use and aesthetically appealing. The term LCD might also be used to evoke a situation where the learner acts alongside the designer to aid the design process, from identifying the types of places and situations in their life where technology might support them, through to exploring the types of interactions that might be beneficial, to developing the packaging and aesthetics of the end product.

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