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

Mor, Yishay and Winters, Niall (2008). Participatory design in open education: a workshop model for developing a pattern language. Journal of Interactive Media in Education

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/2008-13/

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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