Participatory Educational Development in Higher Education

CHEF Talk, Dr. Yishay Mor & Dr. Rikke Toft Nørgård

Advances in digitisation, automation and massification of higher education appear to diminish the role of teachers, as mediators of knowledge. However, at the same time, these advances call for a strengthening of their position as guides, mentors and facilitators of learning. This realization reinforces the calls to re-conceive educational work as a participatory design practice, and raises the need to democratize design knowledge in education. In 1977 Christopher Alexander and his colleagues introduced the notion of design patterns as a means for democratising architectural design. This methodology has since spread into software engineering, and in recent years has been gaining ground in education. In this talk, we will introduce the argument for re-positioning educators as learning designers, present the design patterns approach and argue for its utility as a method for democratising educational design knowledge, consider the potential for participatory approaches in educational design, and share some examples from our experience.

In doing so, this presentation introduces the notion of learning design studios, participatory pedagogical pattern workshops and teachers’ co-creative educational design collaboratoriums as a framework for bottom-up, participatory and teacher-led educational development.