This institute also builds on the work of Dr. Punya Mishra, a professor of Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University.

This page is devoted to exploring questions such as:

  • What can teachers learn about design from products and practices that are common in fields such as architecture, graphic design, filmmaking, marketing, music (and other performing arts), newscasting, and theater that will help them to design compelling language learning experiences for their students?
  • How does framing affect what it is possible for an audience to see, experience, and understand? What do frames have in common with perspective(s)?
  • How does shifting the purpose (intentionality) of an activity change what it is possible for students to learn?
  • How do principles of design influence what it is possible for students to learn?
  • How can teachers purposefully design learning environments and experiences that foster language acquisition?

Group Facilitators: Cindy Kendall, MI; Cherice Montgomery, MI; Marcia Rosenbusch, IA

Examples & Interactive Activities

Appliance Design - The digital edition of this magazine is particularly intriguing because of the many ways it draws on new technologies to enhance the user's reading experience. Be sure to turn your sound on before you "turn" the page, then explore the buttons at the top of the page--particularly the tools, web annotation, and hyperlink buttons - chericem1 chericem1

Dave Werner's Portfolio 2006 - An outstanding example of the powerful effects layering aesthetic, conceptual, emotional, intellectual, and visual elements using mixed media. Note how the design of the site, the layout of the individual pages, the convergence of multimedia elements, and the use of what appear to be lines drawn by a marker guide you through the experience.

- Select a country and a language to see how children in schools are using a 4-step design process (Feeling, Imagining, Doing, and Sharing) to improve their communities. (Site also includes a song and a poster)

Don't Click It - Engaging, interactive website that problematizes issues of design, psychology, and usability and highlights the power of pre-conditioning and visual (v. text-based) instructions.

Eyetrack III - Fixation Exercise - Test your understanding of eye movement patterns typical of people viewing a webpage with this interactive quiz - chericem1 chericem1

Latest Links


Cavallo, Jo. (2005, February). Phoenix rising . Edutopia. This article describes how the redesign and rennovation of a failing, inner city school has resulted in a 98% graduation rate - chericem1 chericem1

Communicating Design: Competitive Analysis - A really useful article that demonstrates how to use graphic representations as tools for comparison, analysis, and dissemination of information - chericem1 chericem1

Infodesign: Understanding by Design - News - A collection of interesting articles about various aspects of design - chericem1 chericem1

Logic v. Usage: The Case for Activity-Centered Design - A short, concise column by Don Norman that outlines several key issues in design, explores the affordances and constraints of activity-centered design v. human-centered design principles, and advocates for a balance between taxonomies and taskonomies - chericem1 chericem1


A Peer Tutorial for Design-based Research - Resources re: design-based research - chericem1 chericem1


Basic Principles of Visual Design - A one-page PDF handout that outlines the basic principles of graphic design (proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast) from The Non-designer's Design Book by Robin Williams - chericem1 chericem1

Big Zipper Project - This PDF file outlines a curriculum consisting of a series of hands-on activities that teachers can use to help students consider issues of design. It is intended for use in conjunction with this free set of Big Zipper color posters . The links on the rest of the site are well worth exploring--especially for business teachers. Downloadable PDFs include a neat set of ready-to-use case studies and activities to help students think about market research, and a host of other well-designed activities - chericem1 chericem1

Eyetrack III - Heatmap Representation - Take a look at what research shows about eye movement patterns and their implications for web page design - chericem1 chericem1

Love letters: The type issue. Step inside design. - This issue addresses typography (and its relationship to music!) - chericem1 chericem1

Masters of Design - Profiles of designers from a variety of different fields - chericem1 chericem1

The Principles of Design - Expands on the 4 basic principles of design (Proximity, Alignment, Repetition, & Contrast) and includes examples and links to resources that emphasize the cognitive and psychological bases of the PARC principles - chericem1 chericem1

Rhetorical Triangle - This graphic depicts 3 key elements that must be considered when designing advocacy efforts designed to produce change - chericem1 chericem1

Text & Graphical Layout - FANTASTIC summary of the what, why, & how of basic principles of graphic design from the Non-designer's Design Book by Robin Williams. Beautiful design, solid visual examples and non-examples, each principle in its own tab, but all visible from the homepage - chericem1 chericem1

Thinking wrong. Step inside design. - This issue addresses how changing perspective changes results - chericem1 chericem1

Web Design - Cherice's most recent bookmarks on the subject - chericem1 chericem1


David Kelley: The future of design is human-centered - TED Talks - Discusses the shift from product-centered to user-centered nature of design. Boring, except the Prada dressing room is cool, and the Kenyan non-profit project is interesting - chericem1 chericem1

Paul Bennett: Design is in the Details - TED Talks - Section entitled "This is not a new idea" is particularly useful in helping people think about where innovative ideas come from. Section on Ikea talks about looking at design from your user's perspective (in this case, kids) - chericem1 chericem1

Ross Lovegrove: The Power and Beauty of Organic Design - Ted Talks - Discusses the idea of lean, "fat-free" designs . . . functional objects made out of biopolymers and other natural materials, solar-powered cars, etc. Last half of video is most interesting. Connects well w/ Gaudi's thinking - chericem1 chericem1