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MORE about Other Models-for-Process

This appendix-page supplements Other Models for Teaching Inquiry-Process`.  It contains additional ideas that you may find interesting and useful.  The two main topics in this page are:

Examples of Non-Rigid Sequences - Part 2  {below}

Comparisons of Design Process with Other Models



Examples of Non-Rigid Sequences — Part 2  (put into right frame`)

The following examples — intended to help decrease inaccurate stereotypes about "what a model MUST be" because usually it ISN'T — supplement the examples in Part 1`.  Examples are from EPICS and d.school and Learning By Design


EPICS explains their flexibility on pages 2-3:

    The EPICS Design Process model is not intended to be a recipe for design. ...  It is a heuristic (general principle or “rule of thumb”) for design. ...  The center portion of the graphic [on page 2] indicates a number of tasks that can be completed throughout the design process, such as brainstorming, prototyping, and usability testing.  There are iteration cycles in each step with the stakeholders (the customer, user, client, etc.) that represent the involvement of the stakeholder in the development of the solution continuously throughout the design process.
    Although the overall goal is to move through the [longer-term] phases, sometimes you gain new knowledge about the requirements, constraints, users, context, usability and/or capabilities of technologies being used that make it necessary to iterate, or go back to previous phase and complete it again.  However, there are a couple of points in the design process that are “go vs. no-go” decision points that require an agreement from the project partner, advisors, and/or EPICS administration to go forward with the design.  They are indicated as “Gates” in the design process.  The use of “Gates” is very common in industry, where meeting certain criteria is required to gain additional resources in the development of the product.
Their framework provides a clear structure — "the overall goal is to move through the [longer-term] phases" and "decision points" asking "go vs no-go" at the Gates — but they also emphasize the utility & necessity of flexibility when making action-decision during a process of design.


d.school (of Stanford) doesn't say much about the timings of “process” in their Bootcamp Bootleg.*  And I haven't observed their teaching-in-action, or discussed “what happens, how, and why” with their teachers.  Therefore, much of this subsection is based on my interpretations, not their statements.  It's written with humility, and if in some ways I “get it wrong” please let me know so I can revise what I'm thinking and writing.   {* Maybe it's there and I just haven't found it, but I've searched BB for process-words like [process] [mode] [sequenc] [repeat] [iterat] [then] [deci], but didn't find much about mode-timings.  But one mindset (Be Mindful of Process) does encourage improvised action-decisions about "what to do next."}

The focus of their modes (plus methods & mindsets) is on functional productivity, not sequencing.  Their goal is to promote a higher quality of design thinking, to help students improve useful skills, as in their modes for Empathy to understand others better, and Ideation to fluently generate a large quantity of ideas with wide variety.  In their model (with modes, methods, mindsets) I think the main function of the methods & mindsets is to serve as a basis for thinking strategies that promote productive thinking now & later, to improve performance & learning.

The modes are mainly functional (to help you be productive, to serve a purpose in making progress during your process of design)*, not sequential.  But often the timing of actions is important, with timings achieved by sequencing.  For example, empathetic understanding (in Empathy) is necessary BEFORE (in Ideation) you can generate useful ideas for a solution.  And, of course, you must generate an idea (with Ideation) before a quick-and-rough physical testing of the idea (in Prototype) is possible.  Their mode-sequencing is appropriate, with Empathy serving as a foundation to Define so you can productively Ideate, then Protype and Test to get observations for use in evaluating, refining, and making decisions.

* In many ways the modes of d.school are similar to the 10 modes of action (mental and/or physical) in Design Process. 

When teachers of d.school are teaching, I'm sure they encourage students to use the thinking-and-action in Empathy (and in each other mode) whenever they think it will be useful.  For example, after some Ideation & Prototyping they may want to Empathize more, and perhaps re-Define their objective(s) or their goal-criteria for a solution that is ideal, or is at least satisfactory.  This flexibility-in-process is described in d.school's mindset to "Be Mindful of Process" by "knowing where you are in the design process, what methods to use in that stage" so you can coordinate your process of design by making action-decisions about “what to do and when.”  Skillful coordinating depends on conditional knowledge by knowing the function of each tool (what it can help you accomplish) so you'll know "what methods to use" for making problem-solving progress.

One exception to not finding "a lot about mode-timings" is "WHY test" on page 8 of Bootcamp Bootleg.  Testing (so you can observe) "informs the next iterations of prototypes" and "is another opportunity to build empathy through observation and engagement" and lets you "test and refine your POV" in Define. {italics added by me}  Later, "WHY Prototype to Decide" (page 39 in BB) explains that "Often during the design process, it’s unclear how to proceed forward, particularly when team members have mixed opinions.  A prototype can frequently resolve team disagreements and help a team decide which design direction to pursue without having to compromise.  The best way to resolve team conflicts about design elements is to prototype and evaluate them with users."   /   d.school does provide principles for process-timings.  These principles just aren't emphasized as strongly, or explained as explicitly, compared with their educational goal of helping students achieve the functional goal of higher-quality design thinking in each mode, using their mindsets for high-quality design thinking.


Learning By Design (LBD) is a model with two interconnected cycles – to Design/Redesign (when there is a Need to Do), and to Investigate & Explore (when there is a Need to Know).*

In each cycle of LBD, a sequence is indicated by arrows.  But their model has inherent flexibility due to its emphasis on shifting back & forth between cycles of design-inquiry (to Design/Redesign) and science-inquiry (to Investigate & Explore).  Their FAQ asking How does Learning By Design work? describes these flexible interactions between design and science:

Their FAQ-answer for "How does Learning By Design work?" describes how students fluently shift back & forth between cycles to Design/Redesign and to Investigate & Explore, how "during the cycle of designing, testing, explaining, learning, and redesign, as students work ‘iteratively’ [when they decide to ‘do it again’] to make their design solutions better and better, they also [because the main objective of LBD is to help students learn ideas & skills] enhance their understandings of science concepts and get a chance to practice a variety of science skills [and design skills]."  The FAQ explains two kinds of flexibilities: between cycles and within each cycle.

* LBD says "the key feature [of Learning by Design]... is that the process of designing products complements and is similar to conducting scientific Investigations."  A close relationship between design and science is also a key feature of Design Process, which has Cycles for Design and for Science.  But even though similar cycles are used in LBD and Design Process, these cycles are represented in different ways, as you can see in diagrams for Learning By Design and Design Process.  Design Process explains the functional connections between these two cycles:  3 key elements (Goals, Predictions, Observations) are compared in 3 ways, in two Quality Checks (used for two kinds of Design Cycle) and a Reality Check (used for a Science Cycle), as you can see in Diagrams 3a & 3b.

The designers & users of LBD recognize this flexibility, and it's part of instruction that uses Learning By Design, consistent with the educational goals of LBD, summarized in their FAQ:

    Learning By Design™ is a project-based inquiry approach to science aimed at the middle school grades - 6th through 8th.  Our aim is for students to learn science content deeply and at the same time develop the skills and understanding needed to undertake solution of complex, ill-structured problems.  We accomplish this by having students learn science [with science-inquiry] in the context of trying to achieve design challenges [in design-inquiry].

The cycles of LBD include steps to "Present & Share" in three ways, in a "Pin-Up Session" and "Gallery Walk" (during a cycle to Design/Redesign) and a "Poster Session" (during a cycle to Investigate & Explore).  Doing these steps as part of a cyclic sequence provides a structure-of-instruction, promoting student actions and discussions that are useful for achieving LBD's goals of effective education in the classroom.  Outside the classroom similar steps (to communicate ideas) are used by designers, but their timing is flexibly improvised instead of being part of a cyclic sequence.

Overall, I think Learning By Design is an excellent model/system for learning skills-and-ideas by design.


more about LBD - Janet Kolodner, its main developer, was a pioneer in learning from experience by using Case-Based Reasoning as "a way of solving problems based on analogies to past experiences. ..... In case-based reasoning, the results of previous cases are applied to new situations, cutting down the complexity of the reasoning necessary in later situations and allowing a problem solver to anticipate and avoid previously-made mistakes."   {Learning from Experience and Self-Regulated Learning}



Long-Term Phases in Models-for-Process

Below are three comparisons — with tables showing the long-term phases` in 5, 2, 2, and 19 models — that are briefly outlined in Other Models-for-Process.


A Comparison with 5 Models

The long-term phases of PLAN-and-MONITOR in Design Process are similar to the long-term phases of other models.  In this table, you can see long-term phases — viewed functionally (Define & Solve) and chronologically (beginning, early-middle & late-middle & both in cycles, ending) — and relationships between the models of Self-Regulated Learning and Design Process (summarized in Diagram 2c) and Don Buckley and Stanford's d.school and Engineering is Elementary:

a Problem
this Problem
of process



of process
and Adapt
[in cycle
of P-M-EA]
Define P
in cycle],
and Adapt
[in cycle of
Buckley Define P,
Analyze &
Ideate Prototype Refine,
d.school Empathize,
Ideate Prototype,
are used]*
E is E Ask
Create Improve  

I've developed many models for Design Process` for Design Process.  The model being used here explains how you PLAN (with Mental Ideation) and then MONITOR (with Physical Testing) during cycles of PLAN-and-MONITOR in which you continually learn from experience.  This model for PLAN-and-MONITOR is similar to models used for Self-Regulated Learning.

Similar Meanings, using Different Terms:  In all of these models, you Define a Problem.  Then during PLAN you Ideate (by mentally Generating-and-Evaluating options) using all available information — Predictions from Mental Experiments (old & new), and Observations from Physical Exeriments (old) — so you can Choose an Option to actualize in a "Prototype" Experimental System you design. {what is a prototype?}   During MONITOR you do a Physical Experiment (to Test the Prototype) that lets you make new Observations.  You can use these new Observations (along with all old information) for Evaluation in a re-PLAN when during new cycles of Evaluate-and-Generate you decide whether to Adjust.

* In the model of d.school, are the phases (Ideate, Prototype,...) intended to be sequential? {yes and no}



A Comparison with 2 Models,

Engineering is Elementary + Design Process:

The new Science Standards (NGSS) for USA emphasize the educational value of helping students become more comfortable with, and skilled with, the Practices of Engineering.  How can we do this?   {put section into right frame`}

One way to pursue this important goal more effectively is by using the curriculum & instruction being developed by Engineering is Elementary (EiE).  Their carefully designed activities make it easier for teachers to share the Practices of Engineering (and joys of engineering) with students.  I'm excited about the productive work of EiE, and I was happy to discover that the models-for-process of EiE and Design Process (DP) are compatible, so these models could be creatively integrated into a hybrid model that combines the best of both and is used for instruction that begins with EiE, followed by EiE-plus-DP.

EiE is compared with other models in the tables above and below, where for each non-generic model — Engineering is Elementary (E is E, EiE) and Design Process (DP) — the long-term phases are in bold.  For DP the non-bold verbs (Define, Design, Generate, Evaluate, Choose, Use, Actualize, Observe, Adapt, repeat) are shorter-term actions.  The purple text shows essential ideas (about how to Design Experiment when we Choose a solution-Option and experimental Situation) that could help us harmonize the two models.  My comments, describing EiE with DP-terms, are in brackets, [ ].

early middle
+ late middle
and goals
(design experiment)

(do expmt)
(use expmt)
E is E
do exprmt]
[with actions
repeating in
design cycles]
[design experiment]
Design Experiment
& Adapt,
repeating in
Design Cycles
of P-and-M
Option & Situation

Overall there is a close matching between the long-term phases in EiE and DP, so they're approximately equal, ≈ :  Ask {≈ Define Problem}, Imagine + Plan {together, ≈ PLAN},* Create {≈ MONITOR}, and Improve {≈ Evaluate & Adapt}.   /   * Imagine {≈ Choose Option}, Plan {≈ Choose Situation}


Initially I was concerned about the differing definitions for Plan (in EiE) and PLAN (in DP).  But after careful comparisons, I've concluded that “although there is a difference in definitions, EiE and DP are compatible” because both models describe the same design-thinking actions, using terms that are compatible.  Here is why:

{put section into left frame`}

When you Design an Experiment you are Designing an Experimental System (E-System) that has two parts because an E-System is a Solution-Option operating in an Experimental Situation.  Therefore, to Design an Experiment (an E-System) you must Choose an Option and Choose a Situation.  The table shows that these two actions, which occur whenever you Design an Experiment, are the central sequence in a process of solving problems — when you Design and Do and Use Experiments — in both EiE (Imagine + Plan) and DP (PLAN).

In this model of Design Process, I chose the two main terms (PLAN, MONITOR) so they are consistent with models in the field of cognitive-and-metacognitive Self-Regulated Learning (SRL).  This consistency with SRL is important because we can use DP to develop-and-apply cognitive/metacognitive Thinking Strategies (as with SRL), not just for Inquiry-and-Argumentation (as with EiE).

I'm happy that the terms (and actions!) in all 3 models — SRL, DP, EiE — are compatible, at least in principle.  But in practice, will students be confused if we use differing definitions for the word "plan" because this can be only Choose Situation (when it's the Plan of EiE) but (when it's the PLAN of DP & SRL) is both Choose Option and Choose Situation?  But maybe this potential negative can become an actual positive — with a beneficial result of helping students more deeply understand the two-part process of Experimental Design — when we explain that PLAN (all capitalized) includes more than Plan because to totally Design an Experiment (= PLAN) you must Choose a Situation (during the Plan of EiE) and also Choose an Option (during Ideate in EiE).  Or...

Another way to combine EiE with DP avoids this concern.  How?  Five closely related models for Design Process form a 5-stage progression for learning.  This flexibility is useful because in a hybrid model (that creatively integrates ideas from EiE and DP) we could decide to include some aspects of DP but not other aspects.  Only one model of Design Process (Stage 2b that emphasizes the importance of learning from Physical Experiments) uses Cycles of PLAN-and-MONITOR.  A hybrid model could limit its use of DP to ideas in the other models of DP — in Stages 1, 2a, and 3 (and maybe also 4) but not 2b — because only Stage 2b uses the term "PLAN".   Other models for DP focus on the smaller-scale cycles of Generate-and-Evaluate (using Mental Experiments + Physical Experiments) that occur within larger-scale cycles of PLAN-and-MONITOR.


WHY might we want to supplement EiE with DP?  Two visual features of DP that will be especially useful are its simplicity and symmetry.

The symmetry of DP (showing the functional similarities of mental experimenting and physical experimenting) will help students develop a deeper metacognitive understanding of their thinking, with a combination of experience + principles helping them learn more from their experiences.  This could be especially valuable for older students, when they do EiE's activities for grades 3-5 (Engineering Adventures) and 6-8 (Engineering Everywhere).

The simplicity of DP lets us SHOW students how they use a process of Design Thinking for almost everything they do in life so we can build two kinds of educational bridges between school & life and (in a wide spiral curriculum, coordinated across subjects and through time) between engineering & other subjects* — so we can help students improve their confidence about learning and motivations to learn and transfers of learning.

* We can build these transfer-bridges more easily by using the broad definitions of engineering in NGSS and DP.


MORE - You can learn more about why PLAN = Experimental Design and how people use Cycles of PLAN-and-MONITOR as our foundation for Learning from Experience.



Another Comparison with 2 Models,

DEEP Design Thinking + Design Process:

{put section into right frame`}

A model developed by Mary Cantwell at the Center for Design Thinking (in the Institute for Innovation of Mount Vernon Presbyterian School`) is DEEP Design Thinking (DEEPdt) with DEEP = Discover, Empathize, Experiment, Produce.  You can see the close correlation between DEEPdt and the two long-term phases of Design Process if we think of DEEP in two parts, as DE (Discover & Empathize, to Define a Problem) and EP (Experiment & Produce, to Solve this Problem) here:

DEEPdt  Discover
Ask Questions,
Immerse Yourself

Collect Feelings,
Gain Insight,
Point of View,
How Might We,
Show Don't Tell,
Receive Feedback,
Define a Problem:
Learn more, so you Understand
more Accurately-and-Thoroughly,
with Empathy;
Define an Objective (for a Problem)
and Goals (for a Solution)
Solve this Problem:
creatively Generate Options
and critically Evaluate Options
(imagine in Mental Experiments,
actualize in Physical Experiments)
in iterative Cycles of Design


Combining Models:  I think each model gives “added value” to the other, with DEEPdt being especially valuable for DE (to Define), and Design Process for EP (to Solve).

DE - to Define a Problem:  Although DE (Discover, Empathize) is functionally very similar to "Learn + Define Problem/Goals" in Design Process, "Discover" is more exciting than "Learn" and is thus more motivating for students;  and "Empathize" strongly calls attention to the importance of thinking with empathy so DEEPdt will be truly deep.

EP - to Solve the Problem:  A model of DEEPdt is educationally valuable, for both DE & EP, because (like the model of d.school) DEEPdt provides Structure (for instruction) and Strategies (for productive thinking).  Design Process supplements these benefits, for EP, by helping students discover — when they use a process of inquiry (with experience + reflection + discussion + explanation) to discover principles of inquiry — how their creative-and-critical productive thinking actually occurs during short-term sequences within long-term phases.   (Simplicity & Symmetry in Design Process)


a clarification:  The terms "phases" and "structure" and "sequences" do not imply rigidity because both models encourage flexible improvising.  Due to the possibility of misunderstanding, Mary explains (on page 2 of Flashlab: A Primer for DEEPdt) that although the phases/modes of DEEP (D,E,E,P) "may seem linear, it's actually messier than that — which is part of what makes it fun and interesting.  The phases - or modes - help a design thinker embrace the messiness and leverage a system for honing in on the roots of a problem and meeting the needs of the user(s)."



A Comparison with 19 Models

This table — showing similarities & differences in the long-term phases of 19 Models (14 for Design, 5 for Science) — is wide, so I recommend opening it in its own new window.   For my model of Design Process, number-and-letter terms (2A, 1A-1B,...) are from 10 Modes of Action.   [IOU - This section will be developed more thoroughly in June 2016;  soon I'll add models for PLTW]

Beginning (define problem)
Early-Middle (mental ideation)
Late-Middle (physical testing)
 Design Process
 (which includes
 Science Process)
Define a Problem-Project
(based on 2A, do in 1A-1B)
Define a Question-Project
Ideate: Generate Solution-Options
(do in 2A-2B, using 2A,2C/2D)
Ideate: Generate Theory-Options
Test & Observe; Evaluate+Revise
(in 2D & 2E;  3A+2B or 3B+2B)
Test & Observe, Evaluate+Revise
Finish Project
(responding to 3A/3B)
Finish Project
define and delimit an
engineering problem
[define Solution-Goals]
generate possible solutions,
evaluate potential solutions
[by comparing with Goals]
test potential solutions,
refine and improve
[in cycles of design]
a final design
[a Problem-Solution]
Project Identification,
Specification Development
Conceptual Design
Detailed Design
Retirement or Redesign
 is Elementary
Imagine + Plan
Improve (with iteration)
 Project Lead
 the Way (PLTW)
available soon (in June)
 PLTW [flowchart]
available soon (in June)
 Don Buckley
Define, Research,
Analyze and Redefine
Refine (with iteration)
Discover, Empathize
Experiment (mentally)
Experiment (physically), Produce
Scaling, Realization
 Butterfly Works
Social Need, Research
(+ Co-Creation Workshop)
Making, Pilot Test
Big Question, Brief,
Refinement [iterative?]
Evaluation, Winners,
 Learn by Design
(for design and
  also science)
Understand Challenge
Clarify Question
Plan Design (use Science),
Present & Share
Make Hypothesis
Construct & Test,
Analyze & Explain
Design Investigation
Conduct Investigation
Analyze Results
Present & Share
Present & Share
 Science Buddies
(for design)
 Science Buddies
(for science)
Define the Problem,
Do Background Research,
Specify Requirements
Ask a Question
Do Background Research
Create Alternative Solutions,
Choose the Best Solution
Construct a Hypothesis
Do Development Work,
Build a Prototype,
Test and (iterative) Redesign
Experiment to Test Hypothesis
Analyze Data, Draw Conclusion
Communicate Results
 P H E O C
Experiment & Observation,
 P O E
 SRL Cycle
(define an objective)
Evaluate (and adapt?)
during PLAN
MONITOR (Use and Observe)


My Goal — to Stimulate Thinking

Based on definitions of long-term phases by developers of each model, and my interpretations, I put their phases into 4 categories, for those occurring at a project's Beginning, Middle (Early & Late), and Ending.  In doing this, I'm not claiming to be “correct”.*  Instead, my purpose is merely to stimulate thinking about the process of design.  If you're stimulated to think and your thinking leads you in other creative directions, or if you disagree with what I've done, or you like it, please let me know. Craig Rusbult <crusbult@wisc.edu>

* While categorizing I recognized that sometimes a phase-action could occur in two or more time periods.  And sometimes there is a fuzzy line between sequences that are short-term and long-term so there is overlapping between these time frames.



I.O.U. - From here onward the page needs editing, which I may continue doing in late March.


Similarities in Long-Term Phases — 16 Models

The previous two sections describe sequences (short & long) in my models and other models, which all emphasize flexibility;  almost always, sequences are used in cycles (not in a one-time-through sequence), and non-linear branchings occur when designers make real-time improvised decisions at branch points.  Therefore, the term sequence should be interpreted so it does not imply a long-range rigidity or a general uniformity of process.


For my model of Design Process, in this table the terms & timings — e.g., "do in 1A-1B" — are from Modes of Thinking-and-Actions.  Although the framework of Design Process does not have a mode for "Conclude Project" (which appears in the "Ending" column) this is in its elaborations:  A Wider View of Objectives can include Communication at the end of a project;  and the Many Responses to Evaluation can include "making decisions about the overall project," which could be "deciding that one Option is a satisfactory Solution, and maybe you then begin work on sub-projects to manufacture, market, distribute, and sell it."   (For end-of-project objectives & actions, the most detailed model is EPICS.)


An Educational Goal — to Improve Knowledge of Problem-Solving Process

The most educationally valuable mode-of-thinking in Design Process is Coordinating a Process of Design because it will help students develop metacognitive strategies to "convert individual thinking skills into whole-process skills."  My main elaboration of this mode...

begins with "Aware Observation of Your Process" when you "try to understand ‘what is happening’ by observing where you are now (the current situation, the Now-State) and knowing where you want to go (your Goal-State)."  To describe this useful awareness, Stanford Design School suggests that you "Be Mindful Of Process – Know [by "Aware Observation"] where you are in the design process... and what your goals are... [and with Conditional Knowledge] what methods to use in that stage."

and ends with "Integrated Action-Sequences in Design" which "describes how developing a Conditional Knowledge of productive sequences — integrated combinations of actions... that perform useful functions — can help students learn how to be more effective in Making Action-Decisions by using Thinking Strategies."  A useful Conditional Knowledge includes "integrated combinations of actions" in short-term sequences, and also understanding long-term phases.

This “coordination mode” is one reason for concluding that we should teach Design Process to help students improve their problem-solving skills and their understanding of problem-solving process.

Mental Experimenting versus Physical Experimenting

PLAN-and-MONITOR is one model for Design Process, in a family of related models.  It is Stage 2b of a 5-stage progression for learning.  Stage 2b, like the models of Buckley & Stanford, treats Mental Experiments as a part of an Ideation phase (to PLAN) that is a preparation for Physical Experiments (when you MONITOR, to Test by making valuable Observations).  In this subtle way, Stage 2b (along with the models of Buckley & d.school) implies that Physical Experimenting — which is more costly in time and money — is more valuable than Mental Experimenting.  I think this is generally true.

With a different perspective on the same process of design, Stage 1 and Stage 3 place equal emphasis on Mental Experiments & Physical Experiments because both kinds of experimenting are valuable in a typical process of design;  if a designer thinks that some Observations are more accurate & reliable, compared with some Predictions, the Observations can be "weighted more heavily" during Evaluations.  With either perspective, asking “should I adjust?” fits into a Cycle of Design (for creative-and-critical Guided Generation in which creative Generation is stimulated-and-guided by critical Evaluation), as explained verbally and verbally/visually.

scraps to edit:

while the elaborations of Learning By Design & Science Buddies & SAPA & NGSS are especially useful for Education, to design instruction for in K-12.

elementary (K-6 with SAPA) or middle school (6-8 with LBD), although all could be adapted for other ages, and NGSS is for all ages





[[ below here, sections probably won't be in the main page ]]


7 Models (or types of model) for a Process of Design

Design in the Classroom is an excellent website with many high-quality resources (pages & videos) that include 7 Models for the Design Process.  Here are brief summaries & comments by me, about their “sampler” for a variety of models, with quotes from DitC.

1. Linear Design:  Each strategy-action "is done once and always in the same order" but this ignores the fact that "design often goes in repeating cycles or iterations."  I also think this model-type is too simplistic and is inaccurate, but... process-models using sequences do have educational utility.

2. Cyclic Design:  I agree with DitC that this is much better than #1 because designers often use repeating cycles "populated by a number of design strategies" that (using terms from my Design Process, and quotes from DitC) include:  Define Goals ("specifications and constraints"), Generate Options (by "brainstorming"), Learn (by "researching"), use Prediction-Based Quality Checks for a Comparative Evaluation of Options so you can decide which Option(s) to build and test in Physical Experiments and Observation-Based Quality Checks, then decide how to revise an Option for further testing: "their designs [options] cycle through many iterations before the final design is completed."

3. Spiraling Design Cycle:  These models "attempt to show the evolution of a design idea as spiraling and converging towards a solution."  Two models of this type are described, but "neither model attempts to show that a design can be completed at any time in the cycle.  Nor do these models attempt to show that there is no particular order in which the various design strategies must be done."  Despite these criticisms of specific models, DitC (and I) like the recognition of the adjustments that occur during a process of design, inside or outside a classroom.  These improvised adjustments are a part of Design Process.

4. Dialectical Designing:  "Depicts the designer as moving back and forth between ideas and concrete actions, both of which support the design's evolution from idea to drawing to prototype to product."  This is tough to summarize – so just read it – but maybe it can be viewed as a supplement (with a fresh perspective) of the mental and physical modes of thinking-and-action in Design Process.  DitC also sees this model as a potential supplement for other models, not a replacement, and in their final paragraph they ask, "What strengths and weaknesses do you see in this representation of the design process? What aspects of designing get left out in this depiction? When would you refer to this model with your students, if at all?"

5. Conversation with Materials:  This is "a model for designing that emphasized how ideas evolve and learning takes place during the actions related to designing."

6. Learning-By-Design Cycle:  This interesting model deserves a deeper examination, so it will be featured in its own sub-section.

7. Symmetric Design Cycle:  As explained in DitC's final paragraph, this model has two levels: an overview of a project, and a set of non-sequential strategies.




A Personal History of Scientific Method and Design Process

My model for Integrated Scientific Method was constructed in the context of current scholarship.  This model of science was built on a solid foundation of knowledge, after I did extensive literature-research to learn what other scholars (scientists, philosophers, historians, educators, psychologists, sociologists,...) had written about the methods of thinking used by scientists, as individuals and in communities.*

By contrast, my construction of a model for Integrative Design Process was mainly independent from current scholarship.  This model of design was built on a solid foundation of logic.  I simply thought about what designers think-and-do in a process of design, analyzed their thinking-and-actions to find the functional relationships, and organized all of this into an integrative framework.  But design and science are closely related so there have been significant transfers between my models for Science Process (based on scholarly research) and Design Process, which therefore does include some ideas from external sources.


* Similarly, in education I have studied the ideas of others about learning, teaching, and thinking.  And now I'm beginning to study other models for science and design, to learn more about these ideas.


An Early Comparison with Other Models for Thinking

Thinking Skills in Education - Analytical Comparison of Four Frameworks is my oldest comparison-page, made in 2001.  It mainly compares Design Process (as it was then) with Dimensions of Thinking: A Framework for Curriculum & Instruction (by Robert Marzano, plus Brandt, Hughes, Jones, Presseisen, Rankin, and Suhor), but also with a strategy for instruction (by Robert Swartz) and Four Frames of Knowledge (by David Perkins).  Although these other models (by Marzano, Swartz, Perkins) are not specifically for design or science, they are for the creative-and-critical thinking skills we use to solve problems, so they are similar to Design Process.

• I.O.U. — Later, I'll compare Design Process with the models for Ideas-and-Skills Curriculum proposed by Marzano and CRESST, although their models are very different than Design Process, and are intended to perform a different function.  The CRESST model is the basis for my page about Designing an Ideas-and-Skills Curriculum to improve Learning and Problem Solving.



If you want to discuss any of these ideas,
you can contact me, <crusbult@wisc.edu> ;
Craig Rusbult, Ph.D. - my life on a road less traveled
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