"Healthy Eating" in the Design Principles Database

The Design Principles Database (DPD) was developed to capture, coalesce and synthesize design knowledge (http://edu-design-principles.org). It is a public mechanism to support researchers and curriculum designers to share their design knowledge in the form of design principles, exemplified by descriptions of features from technology-based learning environments. Each feature in the DPD is linked with a principle and principles are linked between themselves in a hierarchical manner in three levels of generalization (see figure x). Each design principle provides a rationale, theoretical underpinning, and considerations, such as pitfalls, tradeoffs and limits of practical use, to help designers benefit from the many example features it is connected with in the DPD.

Figure 1: Schematic representation of the structure of the DPD (Kali, 2006)

Between 2001 and 2008, the DPD was open to contributions from the public; designers of educational technologies (teachers, curriculum designers, researchers, etc.) were able to publish, connect, discuss and review design ideas. In this manner it served both as a collaborative knowledge building tool for the community (Kali, 2006), and as means for promoting design-based research (Kali, 2008). Currently, the DPD serves as a resource that can be used to: (a) guide novices in a design process as part of a structured design course or workshop (Ronen-Fuhrmann & Kali, this issue), (b) assist more experienced designers in clarifying their own rationales behind features they are designing and see how others have tackled similar design challenges, and what are the “design tips” they provide, and (c) serve researchers in synthesizing design research using the example principles and features of the DPD, as well as the structure it provides for connecting the three levels of design principles and features.

In this article, the DPD was used to analyze the second lesson of the Healthy Eating lesson series (ref). To do so, specific features in the activities designed for this lesson were inspected in terms of the rationales that the designers had for designing them, as can be determined by the description of the activities in the Anastopoulou et al. (2011) article, and by design notes that were made available to us for the purpose of writing this paper. After the rationales were elicited, a design principle with a similar rationale in the DPD was sought. Table X represents the results of this exercise: four features in the Healthy Eating lesson and the corresponding design principles from the DPD that were found relevant to them.

Feature in the Healthy Eating lesson

Relevant pragmatic design principle from  the DPD

Modeling video:
“a short video to the class of an adult describing (modeling) their own personal inquiry on their eating well wheel”
Model Scientific Thinking
This principle calls to include in learning environments examples of how scientist work, and thus model to students how they can discover new views to add to their mix of ideas and how they can detect failures, deal with feedback, and communicate with others (Linn, Bell, & Davis, 2004)
List of inquiry methods in the Toolkit:
“The teacher asks everyone in the class to look at the list of inquiry methods in their Toolkits and suggest which would be the most appropriate to answer this question.”
Communicate the rich diversity of inquiry
This principle calls on designers to expose learners to the rich diversity of the inquiry process. Far too often students leave science class with an image of inquiry as dogmatic and inflexible or abstract and incomprehensible (Linn, Bell, & Davis, 2004). Technology-enhanced learning environments can help students become aware of the diversity of science inquiry by engaging students in a variety of inquiry processes.
Collating student responses as resource for discussion:
“Each group copies and annotates the photos on their computers....  When they have all finished, the teacher displays and compares their selections on the whiteboard. They discuss why some photos are better than others”
Reuse student artifacts as resource for learning
This principle advocates the use of artifacts developed by learners, as resources for further learning of their peers. In this manner, the artifacts, created by individuals, or in groups, can support the learning of those who struggled to interpret and process a certain body of knowledge, as well as others, who can benefit from the products of this process (Kali, Levin-Peled, & Dori, 2008).
Personal data collection activity
“The teacher sets as a home activity for each group to record two people’s food over three days.”
Connect to personally relevant contexts
This principle calls for designing instruction that encourages learners to investigate personally relevant problems and revisit their science ideas regularly.
Too often students find academic science lacking personal relevance. This sense of irrelevance leads to lack of personal interest and low engagement levels (Duschl, Schweingruber, & Shouse, 2007).

Table 1: Features in the Healthy Eating lesson and corresponding design principles from the DPD

Readers of this article are encouraged to use the links in table X to explore the design principles, the features connected to them the tips for designers, and to envision how these might be useful in a design process, as well as in a “post-mortem” analysis of a design.