(2010). Embedding design patterns in a methodology for a design science of e-Learning.
In: Kohls, Christian and Wedekind, Joachim eds.
Problems Investigations of E-Learning Patterns: Context Factors, Problems and Solutions.
Hershey, PA, USA: IGI, pp. 107–134.
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The discourse of research and practice in e-learning has been dominated by two extremes. On one hand, ethereal abstractions, which provide sound principles but do not lend themselves to implementation. On the other hand, detailed anecdotes which provide fascinating insights but pose a challenge to generalization. The void in between these two extremes calls for representations which capture transferable and modular elements of design knowledge. Design patterns originated as a form for democratizing design knowledge by exposing the timeless principles at the heart of expert knowledge, and making them accessible to all. They hold a promise to redress the design divide (Mor & Winters, 2008) in e-learning: the unequal distribution of knowledge of how to effectively design and use technology. Design patterns appear to be ideally suited to the role of enabling design-level conversation across the disciplines involved in e-learning. Yet, in order to fulfill this role, we need to develop scientifically sound and pragmatically relevant methodologies for eliciting, developing, validating and utilizing design patterns and pattern languages. This chapter argues for a design science paradigm of e-learning, and offers a pattern-based methodological framework for such a paradigm. As a concrete manifestation of the framework, I present a pattern language for collaborative reflection and participatory design workshops, which has been developed for and used by several e-learning design research projects.
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