Reflecting on Reflection: Guiding and Capturing Student Projects Online: Chris DiGiano, Michael Chorost, and Mark Chung
In The Sciences of the Artificial, Herbert Simon (1996) argues that in the natural sciences, practitioners are concerned with how things are, whereas in design, they are concerned with how things ought to be. He goes on to call for a “science of the artificial,” a discipline focused on properly representing problems, dealing with ambiguity, understanding needs, and making the most of designers’ limited time and attention. For those of us involved in the design of learning technologies, these are familiar themes. However, in the context of project-based courses in learning technology design (LTD), it can be difficult to get students to reflect on all of these issues and to clearly articulate how they think it “ought to be.” Between learning about educational theory, identifying a project, and building prototypes, there is often little time for reflection. Yet, there is widespread evidence that reflectiveness is a distinguishing characteristic of both expert practitioners and high performing learners (Schön, 1983, 1987).