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Learning from innovation through concept mapping

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-08-24, 03:40 authored by Simon N. LeonardSimon N. Leonard, Robert N. Fitzgerald, Stuart Kohlhagen, Aiden Murray

This is a paper to be presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education conference, December 2015. 


This paper reports on the use of conjecture mapping to identify the design principles of a 3D printing challenge conducted by Questacon, Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre.

Conjecture mapping is a tool that has developed within design-research, also known as design-based research (DBR), an approach that seeks to increase the impact and transferability of educational research. Conjecture mapping assists in this goal by fully articulating the purpose of, and decision-making within, educational design. It shares much in common with other approaches to logic modelling, but specifically recognises that learning design involves conjecture of the activity that will be created, and further theoretical conjecture about how that activity leads to learning and change. It is through understanding this conjecture that the design principles of successful educational innovation can be initially identified, and so allow innovation to be transferred to other settings.

By investigating the design features of the challenge, this paper finds that the embedded theoretical conjecture centred on improving significance and enactment. Significance is created by connecting participating students with engineers who use computer-aided design as part of their day-to-day work; while mind-body-world enactment is created by connected the learning to the activity in the physical world.



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