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Implicit Design Principles: One Does Not Merely Sit

In “Implicit Design Principles: One Does Not Merely Sit,” Dr. Jennifer Roth-Burnette, head and assistant director of the ITAS Innovation Team, considers questions from the Digital Pedagogy Lab about implicit and explicit design principles:

It was easy for me to think about the explicit principles that form part of my institution’s approach to design:  clarity, modularity, organization, accessibility. But I have to be quite honest and say I had never really taken a moment to consider what my own implicit design principles might be. I quickly realized I had a set of personal design principles around relationship and community, but I felt there must also be others to discover.

My sense of wonderment and possibility took over as I considered these, written on the board: empathy, exploration, affective relationship, agency. What could the online courses we work on become if a set of implicit design principles were agreed on by faculty, instructional designers, media and innovation teams from the beginning? They could (and probably should) be different for each course, and would increase our ability to bring online students course material that aims not only to deliver subject matter, but to be an experience — an immersion in the principles, ethos, meaning and implications of that subject matter.