Two Cases of Design Research: Implications for Scaling and Sustainability

John Cook

Keywords: mobile learning, design research, informal learning, cases of design for learning, sustainability

This chapter describes two small to medium sized projects that have taken a participatory, educational design research approach to investigate how mobile devices and social media can mediate “informal learning” in a variety of contexts. The aim is to uncover design principles based on these complex case studies and raise issues about possible approaches to scaling up these techno-pedagogical designs. A second aim is to provide the basis for an examination of the implications for scaling and sustainability, which will, it is hoped, in turn inform progress in the diverse field of ‘learning design’. The meaning of “informal learning” is explored, and a rationale provided for the term ‘task-conscious learning’, and outline the characteristics of educational design research. Drawing on the ‘zone of proximal implementation’ work of McKenney, it concludes by pointing to the design implications of these cases for scaling and to sustainable approaches to developing technology-enhanced approaches for mediating informal, task-conscious learning.