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Debugging an Artifact, Instrumenting a Bug: Dialectics of Instrumentation and Design in Technology-Rich Learning Environments

Debugging an Artifact, Instrumenting a Bug: Dialectics of Instrumentation and Design in... This article explores ways of conceptualizing the design of innovative learning tools as emergent from dialectics between designers and learner-users of those tools. More specifically, I focus on the reciprocities between a designer’s objectives for student learning and a user’s situated activity in a learning environment, as these interact and co-develop in cycles of design-based research. Recent investigations of technology-supported mathematics learning conducted from an ‘instrumental’ perspective provide a powerful framework for analyzing the process through which classroom artifacts become conceptual tools, simultaneously characterizing the ways students come to both implement and understand a device in the context of a task. Similarly, design-based approaches to investigating instructional activity offer epistemological grounds for treating the process of designing artifacts to support learning as unfolding in concert with rather than concluding prior to situated student use. Drawing on each of these perspectives, I describe the design and initial implementation of a set of software artifacts intended to support students’ collaborative problem solving through locally networked handheld computers. Through detailed analyses of three classroom episodes, I report on the ways one student group’s innovative and unexpected use of these tools served as an opportunity to both examine student learning in the context of that novelty and to refine the software design. This account provides an empirical example through which to consider the potential for instrumental genesis to inform design, and for design research epistemology to broaden the scope of instrumental theory. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png "Technology, Knowledge and Learning" Springer Journals

Debugging an Artifact, Instrumenting a Bug: Dialectics of Instrumentation and Design in Technology-Rich Learning Environments

"Technology, Knowledge and Learning" , Volume 13 (1) – Jul 19, 2007

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Education; Learning and Instruction; Mathematics Education; Educational Technology; Science Education; Creativity and Arts Education
ISSN
2211-1662
eISSN
1573-1766
DOI
10.1007/s10758-007-9119-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores ways of conceptualizing the design of innovative learning tools as emergent from dialectics between designers and learner-users of those tools. More specifically, I focus on the reciprocities between a designer’s objectives for student learning and a user’s situated activity in a learning environment, as these interact and co-develop in cycles of design-based research. Recent investigations of technology-supported mathematics learning conducted from an ‘instrumental’ perspective provide a powerful framework for analyzing the process through which classroom artifacts become conceptual tools, simultaneously characterizing the ways students come to both implement and understand a device in the context of a task. Similarly, design-based approaches to investigating instructional activity offer epistemological grounds for treating the process of designing artifacts to support learning as unfolding in concert with rather than concluding prior to situated student use. Drawing on each of these perspectives, I describe the design and initial implementation of a set of software artifacts intended to support students’ collaborative problem solving through locally networked handheld computers. Through detailed analyses of three classroom episodes, I report on the ways one student group’s innovative and unexpected use of these tools served as an opportunity to both examine student learning in the context of that novelty and to refine the software design. This account provides an empirical example through which to consider the potential for instrumental genesis to inform design, and for design research epistemology to broaden the scope of instrumental theory.

Journal

"Technology, Knowledge and Learning"Springer Journals

Published: Jul 19, 2007

References