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Getting Started Select Design Task Learn About Design
MOVIE 1:   11 minutes 3 seconds
What Makes For a Good Design Challenge?

If you put two teachers who have used design tasks for a while in the same room, you can almost always engage them in a lively debate by asking, "What makes for a good design challenge?" Tech ed, math and science teachers have very different answers to this question, in part because of their different discipline objectives and learning goals. How open-ended should the original challenge be? Do design challenges that converge on a single "optimal" solution violate the spirit of exploring a meaningful design space? How many design iterations per class period are optimal?

One of the often-touted advantages of design tasks sounds something like, "Nature tests the design products students come up with, not me as teacher." Do you think design tasks should be judged by nature or by people (or both)?

This movie is one of DITC's longest and best. You'll hear expert educators talk about the following topics:

1. Richard Kimball
    (0:03 - 0:34)
Authentic contexts and settings for doing design tasks are important and very different from problems in applied science.
2. Ed Goldman
    (0:38 - 1:32)
Ed discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the Parachute Task, tells of tasks he uses in his tech ed class, and ends by describing a Transfer Task: to make a parachute toy.
3. Phil Sadler
    (1:35 - 3:14)
Phil outlines the typical sequence of tasks for his CIPS materials, while explaining its giving students starter prototype plans and emphasis on measuring product performance.
4. Gary Benenson
    (3:18 - 5:11)
Gary emphasizes picking doable challenges for students, which still have enough variables to make design solutions varied so that they do not converge on a single idea.
5. Mike Hacker
    (5:16 - 6:37)
Mike describes differences between tech ed and science teachers' use of design tasks, and the role sketching and drawing plays with these educators.
6. Woodie Flowers
    (6:42 - 8:09)
Woodie outlines the progression of a good design program: from easy-to-hard challenges (hard = large group; open-ended task; limited time; limited budget).
7. Richard Kimbell
    (8:13 - 11:03)
Richard tells a story of a student trying to stop the stealing of lobsters from pots, and holds it as an authentic problem the child chose to solve while learning science in-depth.
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