Far too often reforms that aim to increase more equitable outcomes for diverse learners, like newly adopted educational curricula, pedagogical approaches, and new technologies, fall short of their initial promise. Co-design is an exciting and evidence-based approach to increasing the likelihood of successful adoption and implementation. It is the process of collaboration between education stakeholders with varied expertise, to design curriculum, processes, policies, or learning environments. The approach can be found in efforts to center equity and inclusion in the creation or modification of curriculum materials, interdisciplinary projects, interactive technologies, and to examine and refine policies.
In codesign, faculty, often working together with facilitators, work together to prototype, test, evaluate, and refine designed content, pedagogy, assessments, and/or learning contexts, often co-construct[ing] the implementation of the reform. In the process of co-design faculty engage in learning. To support the relevance, and success of the reform, faculty in co-design, have regular and sustained opportunities to share expertise, probe assumptions, and engage in contextualized trial and error, (iterative refinement), design activities, as they consider students’ understandings, interests, and needs relative to the teaching and learning environment. A valuable affordance of the co-design process is that it can support pedagogical and content knowledge connections and learning shifts when faculty are situated as codesigners.
In essence, in this approach to professional learning, pedagogical beliefs, practices and goals – what we describe as their existing professional assets – are made visible and become more aligned and connected to their practices within the designed resource. Co-design partners can leverage these assets in support of teacher learning through design and in support of the co-design of more inclusive pedagogical and content approaches. The resulting resources are more usable, and codesign stakeholders involved have more ownership over the final product. In sum, we offer insights into codesign as a model for faculty learning that builds on their professional assets.
Drawing on diverse examples from over 20 years of codesign efforts in multiple disciplines, Dr. Gomez will illustrate how to codesign effectively facilitates an asset-based approach to professional learning. The talk will conclude with an overview of the elements necessary for developing a successful codesign approach to local professional learning.