designing for teaching



Designing for Teaching (working title) is a resource I am developing for all educators. In many educational establishments, teachers have been relegated to the role of factory floor supervisor; facilitating production, ensuring targets are met, and ticking the relevant boxes at the end of the production cycle. This is a waste. Teachers need an environment where they can use their own unique experiences and knowledge to help guide their students as they explore and learn.

From piano teachers to university lecturers, anyone who needs to communicate a concept to an audience will find this resource helps them convey their ideas. This resource will explore design concepts for developing engaging educational content and give basic guidance for content creation.

I am sharing this as I develop it, which so far has been an incredibly cringe-worthy and humbling experience sharing unrefined ideas, approaches and designs. Once complete, I'll establish an individual site for this resource...


design TOOLKIT

A Design Toolkit is essential when it comes to developing a product or service that is meaningful and engaging to the user. These are simply a series of processes and lenses with which you can use to develop a frictionless experience.

Design Hierarchy: This is to ensure everything you do begins with a clear sense of purpose. Once you know WHY you're doing what you're doing, you can figure out a function or mechanism for HOW to support that purpose and in turn WHAT form that should take.

Design Process: It is important to have a cyclical approach to design to ensure constant and sustainable innovation. It all begins with watching and listening.

Psychogeographic Design: Psychogeography is an unstructured sensory exploration of an environment that adds to the matrix of an individual's perception of the world. Everything is real but how we explore and map it is completely unique to each of us and not based on physical geography. When we’re talking about psychogeographic design, we’re talking about everything intangible about the user experience.


At its simplest, Gamification is using the mechanics of game design and applying them to platforms that will result in a deeper level of engagement and invested time from users. The advantage of Gamification is that it allows users to participate in and experience the subject you are trying to convey, resulting in a more empathetic understanding. Also designing actual game elements into assessments can allow educators to identify areas of weakness in individual students and therefore easily implement more challenges that strengthens those areas.

PLEASE NOTE: Gamification should be used only to intrinsically engage users; it should not be used as an extrinsic tool to manipulate users into desired behaviour. 


People may memorise facts in the short term but they remember stories forever. If you have an idea or concept to impart to an audience it's valuable to frame it within a narrative. There are many structures for storytelling to follow and actually I would argue against formulaic storytelling. However, for the purposes of structuring lessons and lectures, the classic 5 act dramatic structure is a pretty good guide to follow. The main thing is to re-frame your facts and information into a narrative that your audience can engage with. Say no to PowerPoint! 


Creating an interesting poster or video generally isn’t enough to create an engaged community. Particularly in education, you must create an environment and culture where students feel their contribution is valued. Collectively, students and teachers should be equal members in a community that is building towards a greater understanding of the taught field. There are three core areas which form a strong community and so far I've identified 32 elements which must be present and healthy to ensure successful engagement.


This content will likely be adjusted and some things added but the idea here is to create a contents page that shows a map of the various activities and how they can relate to each other. Page numbers will be added once everything is written!