The We!Design methodology
The We!Design methodology tries to encounter the complexity of educational applications development from within the participatory design framework. The methodology enables computer literate students and designers to cooperate in the design of applications that (1) enhance typical educational processes for which students have extensive experience in, such as note taking or assessment, and (2) are well-suited to the technological, social and cultural particularities of each educational environment. The methodology can be easily applied in real educational contexts. It fits with design circumstances where wide-ranging perspectives on the design problem are essential, with time barriers which are restricting and where participants' long-term involvement is not feasible. It can become an integral part of the everyday reality of an educational institution, in a way that does not disrupt the students' primary learning objectives and/or activities. The methodology consists of two phases (see the diagram below).
During the first phase, students participate in short-duration design sessions where they formulate needs, tasks and interface prototypes for the educational application under examination. In the second phase, the designers systematically analyse and then integrate student suggestions. The methodology's evaluation showed that the design sessions proved to be a very intriguing experience for the students while the methodology's products managed to respond to their personal needs and expectations in an efficient and effective way. Eventually it indicated that the We!Design methodology is an adequate means for successful elicitation of students' needs and their application in educational software design. The cohesion of the methodology stages, the progressive exploration of the design problem space and the managed demand for student cooperation ensures the success of the process.
Find out more about the methodology in the related publications (if you cannot access the papers send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send them to you).
Triantafyllakos, G., Palaigeorgiou, G., Tsoukalas, I.A. (2008) We!Design: A Student-Centered Participatory Methodology for the Design of Educational Applications. British Journal of Educational Technology 39(1): 125–139.
Triantafyllakos, G., Palaigeorgiou, G., and Tsoukalas, I.A. (2010) Designing e-learning applications with students: the case of the We!Design methodology. In Affective, Interactive and Cognitive Methods for E-Learning Design: Creating an Optimal Education Experience. Dr. Aimilia Tzanavari, Dr. Nicolas Tsapatsoulis (Eds.), IGI Global (Publisher). Release Date: January 2010.
Siozos P, Palaigeorgiou G. Triantafyllakos, G., Despotakis Th. (2008) Computer based testing using "digital ink": participatory design of a Tablet PC based assessment application for secondary education. Computers & Education 52(4):811-819 . Elsevier Press.
We!Design projects @ ierg.csd.auth.gr
You can also visit the We!Design methodology's website to download all the necessary work sheets used in the design sessions (in greek, some in english), and see the outcomes of all applications of the methodology up to date.