Here’s an interesting study of using model-centered instruction to create instructional design studios. Model-centered instruction posits that people learn best when interacting with models of the real world augmented by useful instruction. An instructional design studio, like say a pottery studio class, is built around whole-skill practice designing (and displaying and critiquing) real or realistic instruction.
McDonald isolates several principles of model-centered instruction to compare published descriptions of instructional design studios.
- Design studios have to model an environment. Learners have to participate in making design decisions and they have to be exposed to how experienced designers make decisions. Further, there has to be a mechanism in the studio for learners to receive feedback on their performance.
- Studios are oriented around problem solving.
- Problems in studios are often denatured. That means they can be simplified depending on the abilities of the audience, or altered to expose particular interesting facets of the problem. Extraneous elements can sometimes be stripped away.
- Problems in a studio can be ordered in a meaningful sequence.
- Problems are selected for the studio to achieve particular instructional objectives. (I wonder if this excludes “bring your own instructional problems”? Or maybe it just means that if learners can choose problems to bring that they have to meet guidelines established by the instructor.)
- Learners have access to resources necessary to solve problems. I suppose this could be access to software for building online instruction, for instance.
- And finally, studios include instructional augmentation. That could be access to relevant works by instructional designer thinkers. Or timely direct instruction by the teacher.