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Tools for making digital design decisions

To make sure students achieve success in learning requires well-designed, developed and implemented approaches to integrating technology. This involves “…redesigning whole courses, changing instructor practices, and adapting organizational policies and allocation of time and space to align with more personalized instruction” (Means, Peters, & Zheng, 2014, p.48).

To help you make pedagogically informed choices about what technology to use to enhance students learning here are some useful resources.

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy

Blooms Digital Taxonomy Image of ‘Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy’ by Andrew Churches. Reproduced with permission.

Bloom’s digital taxonomy (Churches, 2007) can help you navigate through the myriad of technological tools and make choices based on the learning experiences we want students to engage in. This taxonomy aligns the choice of technology with the level of the intended learning outcomes for that course or lesson. You start by considering the learning outcome and then choose a tool that will support your students’ growth toward reaching that learning outcome. The guiding principle is to keep pedagogy ahead of technology (Hattie, 2009).

The SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) Model

The SAMR Model

SAMR is another model designed to help you integrate and use technology in your course. It is particularly useful when you are converting content or resources from a traditionally delivered course to a blended or flipped learning course. It is a four-level taxonomy categorised as:

  • Substitution: The technology provides a substitute for other learning activities without functional change.
  • Augmentation: The technology provides a substitute for other learning activities but with functional improvements.
  • Modification: The technology allows the learning activity to be redesigned.
  • Redefinition: The technology allows for the creation of tasks that could not have been done without the use of the technology.

Here is an example of how the SAMR model is used to convert traditional word processed documents to Google documents.

Taxonomy Definition Example
Substitution: The technology provides a substitute for other learning activities without functional change. Using Google documents as a word processor only
Augmentation: The technology provides a substitute for other learning activities but with functional improvements. The ability to share your Google document and it automatically saves to the Cloud is additional functionality
Modification: The technology allows the learning activity to be redesigned. Students collaborating on the same Google document and using comment feature to provide feedback
Redefinition: The technology allows for the creation of tasks that could not have been done without the use of the technology. Sharing your Google document with a cohort of students elsewhere in the world, use the chat, comment feature or voice app to include comments and feedback. Finally sharing the document to a public website.

Good educational design acknowledges that while you may start with substitution, as a designer you would aim to also integrate technology at the higher levels of augmentation, modification and even redefinition. The challenge for educational design is to be ‘moving from enhancement to transformation’ (Pentedura, 2013) to enhance student learning outcomes.

Padagogy Wheel

The Padagogy Wheel brings together Bloom’s taxonomy, Bloom’s digital taxonomy, the SAMR model and more. (Carrington, 2015).

As you can see this model centres around Graduate Capabilities in the course design. The underlying principle of the Padagogy Wheel, is that pedagogy should determine the educational choice and use of the technology tools. The five layers of the wheel move from graduate attributes and capabilities, Bloom’s taxonomy levels and associated verbs, technology enhancement activities and the SAMR model. The challenge is to make sure that good teaching practice drives the choice of technology.

The Padagogy Wheel

The Padagogy Wheel by Allan Carrington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Reflection point

Consider the Padagogy Wheel and think about one type of technology you could incorporate into your teaching and learning activities that you have never used before.

Talking point

Your organisation will most likely provide support for you when you need to engage in integrating technology into educational design. Search your organisation’s website to find one form of support available to you (this may include professional expert staff, online resources, references or training modules, or professional development opportunities).

Post an example of a support for integrating technology into educational design that is available to you.

Want to know more?

If you would like to more about this topic on making digital design decisions there are additional resources listed in the Want to know more.pdf for this step.

References

Carrington, A. (2015). The padagogy wheel V4.0.

Churches, A. (2007). Educational origami. Bloom’s digital taxonomy.

Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: a synthesis of over 899 meta-analyses related to achievement. New York: Routledge.

Means, B., Peters, V., & Zheng, Y. (2014) Lessons from five years of funding digital courseware: Postsecondary success portfolio review. Menlo Park, CA: SRI Education.

Puentedura, R. R. (2013). SAMR: Moving from enhancement to transformation. Preconference session at the 2013 AIS ICT Management and Leadership Conference, Stay Agile, the Game is Changing, 29-31 May 2013, National Convention Centre, Canberra, Australia. Retrieved from http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/archives/000095.html

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This article is from the free online course:

Introduction to Educational Design in Higher Education

UNSW Sydney

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