Learning Through Design Project: Designing Wisconsin Experiences

In Fall 2013, a group of twenty English students at UW–Madison produced interactive, locative narratives about Wisconsin popular culture in order to learn design principles. Over a five-week process, they 1) Conducted primary research in partnership with the Wisconsin Historical Society; 2) Iteratively designed a narrative from those sources; and 3) Represented that narrative in digital media in a way others could experience, using the location-based tool, ARIS.

The Study

Using a designed based research approach, a curricular design that facilitates this student activity will be used and researched in the course context. In our first iteration in the Digital Literacies course with Erica Halverson, our team noticed opportunities to improve a number of curricular elements:

  • Reconcile student design visions with the affordances of the tool early in the process.
  • Prototype with non-digital media
  • Spread technical training throughout the activity for just-in-time learning of the tool.
  • Perform small warm-up design activities
  • Leverage the many communities the students have access to: Each other, Local technical support, the ARIS online communities, etc.

In this iteration, those lessons were addressed with a number of fundamental changes to the design. Findings will be available Spring 2014.