Posted by: MandyS | May 8, 2014

The beauty of context…

Feeling a little perturbed that we may be putting the horse before the cart here.

A key part of the project is being able to describe the key characteristics of the context. The brief for the project is:

“Choose either a professional domain, or a school subject, where learners need to develop their awareness of social, cultural or ethical issues and make informed and considered judgements.”

I may be wrong but I think from the meeting last night we decided that euthanasia/assisted suicide would be the ‘ethical dilemma’ and that relevant stakeholders here are carers (professional and relatives), health providers (doctors, nurses etc.) and lawyers (from the legal perspective). So we have some possible ‘personas’ but what is the context?

The materials say there are many ‘different approaches to designing a learning activity’ but ours is to ‘view the learning task as a problem to be addressed through design’ and that design is driven by a desire to change something. That to me means that we identify a learning need e.g. X number of children get knocked down outside the school gates each year, the children need to be educated in how to stay safe near a road, the drivers need to be educated about hazards around schools, and then design a learning activity to address that need e.g. talk at school, video re. road safety, taking children to road and showing them dangers etc.

So what problem is the DS designed to solve? What does the DS need to change? What is the context in which we are telling these people about euthanasia/assisted suicide, why do they need to know? Of course, when I am not convinced that we have the process right, I look to see what others are doing; one covering DS have a suggested topic; plagiarism, and a context; a short course to a specific group of students to explain its concepts using DS and then get the students to make their own DS; Brilliant!

I agree at some stage we need an ‘overview’ but surely that is to do with the content rather than the context? Don’t we need to think about the learning aim, who is the focus, what problem the design is seeking to address (lack of awareness, legal obligations, ethical considerations or a combination) etc.

 

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