Knowledge Media Design: Fundamental Principles

October 22, 2012, [MD]

I'm TAing for a class called "Knowledge Media Design: Fundamental Principles" this term with professor Pennefather. The class is the intro course for the Knowledge Media Design Institute program, and this year we are focusing on the representation and communication of knowledge. A brief introduction to the course from the syllabus:

This course reviews the evolving field of Knowledge Media Design (KMD) and the application of design approaches to the creative, integrative, and augmentative use of digital media technologies in discovering, building, sharing, making sense of, and applying knowledge. These design approaches include: human-centred and participatory design; inclusive design of information technology; distributed information and knowledge building; free and open software and hardware; sensemaking; materialization, visualization and many other related concepts.

We are using a course blog, both to communicate with the students, and share lecture slides and material, and also for the students to post their own material and reflections. This WordPress blog is both much easier for us to use than the institutional BlackBoard, and it also has the advantage that all the material is open to the world - and there are some great resources there, which you should check out.

You can start by getting an intro to the concepts of Knowledge Media Design from the first lecture, and look at the sticky notes from our brainstorming in that session. In another session, we heard about digital badges for learning, a great presentation by Cynthia Whitehead on the concept of the "good doctor" (see student response), and a presentation by Pennefather on memory and digital representations. We also had a visit by Steve Easterbrook, a computer scientist who researches complex systems and climate research, who gave a very fascinating presentation about how climate forecasts are made, and communicated to people (audio+Prezi).

Students have also been posting short presentations about audio resources and wayfinding, Timeline.js, waymaking and implications for reference, Vipassana meditation, concept maps, pedagogical methodology for media educators, visualizing urban carbon emissions, Canada and the green economy and participatory design. There is a small voting system (only available for students), and the top presentations will be presented to the whole program at a Christmas event later. We are also planning to integrate with the Open Badges Infrastructure to issue portable badges to the students who have posted resources online.

We are planning a number of other interesting guest speakers, and the students are all preparing larger design projects, so watch the class blog, and feel free to leave comments on the students' work!



Stian Håklev October 22, 2012 Toronto, Canada
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