1 University of Chieti-Pescara (ITALY)
2 University of Macerata (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 2145-2154
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.0516
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
The design is considered a fundamental skill for the reflexive professional teachers (Schön, 1993) who needs to propose paths enabling the students to face unknown situations and to link both formal and informal contexts, characterised by the complexity of knowledge (Rossi & Rivoltella, 2019) complexity of didactic situations and complexity of the teacher’s role.

Due to this design has among its different objectives the one of reducing complexity through «forcing functions» (Norman, 2013), functions that can be taken on by artefacts, aggregating tools and devices able to lead and support such a process in a «simplexité form» (Berthoz, 2009; Sibilio, 2014).

This contribution is focused on a device for the didactic design that appears as a blended learning ecosystem (Laanpere, Pata, Normak, & Põldoja, 2014) characterised by the integration of methods, resources and technologies of various types in the BYOD mode (Depit App, YouTube, Telegram, GDrive), and mediator artefacts (the “Box” and the design/ table).

The didactic device (Rossi & Toppano, 2009) was used during the practical classes within the university course called «Design theories and methods and school evaluation» in the academic year 2019-2020, at the University of Macerata, tested with 230 students involved in pre-service teacher training, organised in 5 small groups each one coordinated by a tutor.

The didactic device offered the pre-service training students the possibility of experimenting how the design cannot be considered anymore as a linear sequence of contents. It is nowadays a recursive process between prevision, action, regulation and reflection (Laurillard, 2012). Such a cycle was reified through a series of design activities enabling a recursive path of deepening and distancing related to the design practice, aimed at getting a reflexive attitude in comparison to the whole didactic cycle the students should have then tested when in class.

The support methodology used, which took advantage of the different technologic resources, mirrors the phases used by Jonassen (1999), which could be used by the teacher and by the tutor in their relationship with the student: modelling; coaching; scaffolding.

The mediator artefact supporting the students, first in their analysis of expert designs, then in the realisation of their own design path (shown in a table asking for the description, the narration and the reflection on the different phases of the lesson) was the “Box”, a cube-shaped box as a metaphor of the deepening and distancing process (Rossi, 2019) like a getting in and out the box. The different faces take back, from the outside, the dimensions for the reflection on what has been designed (balance between didactic mediators and activity, coherence between objectives-activity-evaluation etc.), while from the inside the dimensions belonging to acting in situations (objectives, reference knowledge, proposed activities, evaluations, etc.).

From a first analysis of the data, collected also through a questionnaire administered to students, and from the realised designs, we can hypothesize how the integrated learning ecosystem used has enabled the students to start the development of a reflective attitude related to the recursive and cyclic dimension of the design. This opens a future perspective of making the “Box” a digital artefact to be able to simulate and therefore to embody the deepening and distancing process.
Learning Design, Teachers' Professionalisation, Blended Learning Ecosystem, BYOD.