February 7, 2007: Seminar: Chris Quintana: "Designing for Learning...Learning about Design"

Seminar Announcement

Designing for Learning...Learning about Design
The Interplay Between HCI and the Learning Sciences

Chris Quintana
Assistant Professor, Learning Technologies
University of Michigan
School of Education
Wednesday, February 7, 2007

1:30 p.m., Room 1000 SEO


Design is an inherently interdisciplinary enterprise and the design of learning technologies is no exception. Learning technology designers must consider issues from a range of disciplines, such as software design and human-computer interaction (HCI), learning sciences, and related content domains. But while designers and researchers can draw from existing work in these different disciplines, there are still many questions to explore about the design, use, and impact of learning technologies. From a learning sciences perspective, there is much to learn about how learners work with technologies in different contexts and what the ultimate impacts of those technologies are, especially as we consider new media and communication functionalities. From an HCI perspective, there is much to learn about specific design methods and frameworks that go beyond the typical HCI focus on usability to focus on developing and assessing learning technologies. The development process thus leads to a disciplinary interplay: our understanding of learners and learning leads to certain design approaches, which leads to learning technologies that we can assess to gain knowledge about learners and learning, which can lead to refined design approaches...and the cycle continues to build our knowledge of HCI and learning.

In this talk, I will discuss this interplay by reviewing work learner-centered design (LCD) approaches in the context of recent learning technology projects developed with an LCD approach. I will also summarize some initial assessments of those technologies in middle school classroom settings. By doing so, we can see how these assessments help us gain some insight into technology's impact on learners and help us develop more focused questions for future study. But we can also see how these studies can help us develop new learner-centered design guidelines and methods for subsequent learning technology development efforts.

Breif Bio:

Chris Quintana, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies in the School of Education at the University of Michigan. Professor Quintana combines his background in computer science and human-computer interaction with educational research in his work with the Center for Highly Interactive Classrooms, Curricula, and Computing in Education (hi-ce). At hi-ce, he collaborates with researchers in curriculum development and teacher professional development to explore the design and use of learning technologies aimed primarily at middle school learners doing inquiry-based projects in science classrooms. Professor Quintana's work on design methods and scaffolding guidelines for desktop and handheld-based scaffolded software tools has resulted in a range of publications and presentations in different computer science and educational research venues.

Host: Professor Tom Moher

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