Models and Design Judgment: Conflicting Perspectives on Redesigning a Doctoral Readings Course

Colin M. Gray, Jiyoon Jung, Carol Watson, Xiaokai Jia, Theodore W. Frick


The purpose of this project was to document the redesign of an existing doctoral reading course for an online environment. Potential methods for actualizing the proposed course structure in an online environment, including technology tools and interactions are discussed. The design process began within the framework of the Four-Component Instructional Design (4C/ID) model (van Merriënboer, 1997; van Merriënboer & Kirchner, 2007), which advocates a shift from topic-centeredness to a task-centered course organization, but quickly evolved into a flexible, iterative design process that was informed by prototyping, the judgment of the design team, and various theories of knowledge and knowing. The 4C/ID model represented our philosophical starting point, but our focus quickly shifted to a more flexible, eclectic process as we attempted to reconcile conflicting constraints on the final design. Along with the redevelopment of course objectives to meet strategic goals within the doctoral program came a focus on facilitating research thinking of the students rather than teaching isolated research tasks. The design process resulted in changes to the current residential course, which then provided an opportunity for further investigation.


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