ISDDE Conference 2006

Improving Educational Design Worldwide

4-7 September 2006, Balliol College, Oxford
Organised by the Shell Centre for Mathematical Education, University of Nottingham
Conference Chair: Hugh Burkhardt

Designing a design conference…

In the spirit of “engineering design”, and a desire to avoid the usual “paper factory” approach to conferences, the organisers of the second Oxford conference set out to devise new types of session which would give a voice to professional designers – these session models were developed in advance at a “mini conference” in the Netherlands. The session types which survived to feature successfully in the main conference included:

  • “A designer speaks”
    A major theme of the second conference was to gain an insight into the way professional designers think and work, by giving them the chance to talk about their own approach to the design process, illustrated by a specific design to which they had contributed.
  • Comparing parallel designs
    Here, three experienced designers described and illustrated the way they tackled the same design challenge –introductory lessons on proportional reasoning – in developing a mathematics curriculum for students aged 11-14.
  • Creating a design sketch  
    Conference members were invited, shortly before the conference, to brainstorm and draft a design for a lesson on a specific theme – at the conference, a selection of the entries were presented.

Other sessions addressed:

  • Environments for design
    The experience of working in various “design centres” How can working conditions and career paths be improved.
  • What constitutes “good design”? – client perspectives.
  • Detailed issues in design included:
    How can we provide teachers with adequate guidance to successfully use innovative materials?
    What issues arrive when designing a larger project, such as a complete Mathematics curriculum?
    How can the development process be improved to accommodate successive trials, evaluation and refinement?
  • What might a theory of design look like?
    What could make it an effective applied theory?