ISDDE Conference 2005

Improving Educational Design

26-29 September 2005, Balliol College, Oxford
Organised by the Shell Centre for Mathematical Education, University of Nottingham
Conference Chair: Hugh Burkhardt

This was the conference that introduced ISDDE to a wider community of professional designers of educational tools and processes.

The conference was built around three themes, reflecting the goals of ISDDE:

  1. Designs and their Development:  What do we know? How can we do better?
  2. Building a Design and Development Community What can it contribute?  How can we get there?
  3. Agenda for Action

The meeting was designed to:

  • be question-focussed, with some tentative answers coming from the discussions
  • leave plenty of time for discussion, in and out of the sessions
  • capture in note form the diverse views on moving towards the goals
  • not to spend time on premature consensus-seeking
  • move, over three days, from divergent thinking towards convergence on an action plan

Recognising that the conference itself was a design task, the program had some flexibility, so as to ‘learn’ and develop as it went on.

There were plenary talks on the themes.

Much of the time was spent on working groups, each working group to a specific brief and aiming to produce a written report in note form.  Coverage of the issues, not polish or consensus, was the priority.

Other, less conventional, sessions that went well included an exercise in improving a design and a role play of an academic selection panel considering candidates with different kinds of record in research, more or less design-focussed.