Designing your learning process – week one of IDBE

At Constructivist we talk lots about models for learning and also about models for understanding design. In this workshop we are combining the two: thinking about how to design your learning process. It’s my contribution to week one for a new cohort of students on the Cambridge Masters programme Interdisciplinary Design for the Build Environment.

The premise is simple. Design involves establishing a brief, divergent thinking to generate ideas, convergent ideas to select ideas and iterative thinking to improve and develop ideas. Problem-based learning involves identifying what you can’t do and want to be able to do. In selecting learning activities you develop a strategy for being able to achieve that learning goal.

We combine the two as follows:

  • Identifying the learning goals is effectively developing the brief. This process itself can be iterative.
  • Identfiying possible ways of reaching that goal is idea development. We can use group discussions to explore team idea development.
  • Writing down, sharing and asking for feedback on the learning strategy is testing.
  • Going back and updating the ideas on the basis of feedback, and experience as you move through the learning process is iterative development.

The result is a process that aims to be both reflective about design and learning.