Designing for Thinking
- Design for Thinking: A Strategy for Effective Decision-Making in Instructional Design
- Reflections on D4T and its Implications: A Comprehensive Overview
- Terminology of Design for Thinking: A Glossary of Key Concepts
- Analyzing the Environment: A Crucial Phase in Design for Thinking
- Inertial Behaviors: Recognizing and Establishing Goals, Directions, and Priorities
- Thinking Operations: Making Decisions and Choices for Effective Learning Solutions
- Central Problem: Identifying the Core Issue for Effective Instructional Design
- Collaborating with SMEs: Conducting Effective Meetings to Identify Challenges and Solutions
- ➡️ Content Coding: Structuring Information in a Logical and Consistent Manner
- Learning Arc: Guiding the Design of Learning Solutions
- Case Study: Designing an Effective Credit Real Estate Course Using D4T
- Step-by-Step Guide to D4T: A Comprehensive Guide for Applying the Strategy in Your Projects
Working with Subject Matter Experts: The Importance of Content Analysis
The collaboration between the instructional designer and the subject matter expert (SME) is crucial for the development of effective learning solutions. Throughout the project, the instructional designer works with the SME to analyze, identify, create, and develop various learning materials. However, it is important to note that it is impossible for the instructional designer to be an expert in all the topics addressed in each project they work on.
To address this challenge, it is essential for the instructional designer to have tools that assist them in analyzing the content produced by the SME and implementing it into the learning solutions. The specific method for conducting this work is unique to each project, but having a tool as a starting point is very useful.
At times, the SME will provide a written report to the instructional designer. However, it would be naive to blindly trust the material without conducting a thorough analysis. Even though the SME is expected to be an expert in the subject matter, there is always the possibility of errors or mistakes in their work.
It is rare for the instructional designer to receive two dozen slides of pure mathematical equations without any description or explanation. Even if professionals in a company need to know the content of a 200-page machinery operation manual, the SME will have to analyze the material to extract the most important information for a learning solution.
Therefore, it is important for the instructional designer to have tools that assist in the analysis of the content produced by the SME. This way, it is possible to ensure that the developed learning solution is suitable for the target audience and effective in its purpose.
Even if the SME is an expert in the subject matter, it is crucial for the instructional designer to have the autonomy to conduct their own analysis and apply their instructional design techniques. This collaboration should be constructive and respectful, always aiming to deliver effective learning solutions.
Working with subject matter experts is a critical part of the instructional design process. The instructional designer needs tools to assist in the analysis of the content produced by the SME to ensure that the developed learning solution is suitable and effective. It is crucial for the collaboration between the instructional designer and the SME to be constructive and respectful, always aiming to deliver quality learning solutions.
Content Coding is one of these tools.
The Importance of Content Coding in the Collaboration between Instructional Designer and Subject Matter Expert
Collaboration between instructional designer and subject matter expert (SME) is an essential process in developing effective learning solutions. During this collaboration, the instructional designer works with the SME to analyze, identify, create, and develop various learning materials. However, it is important to remember that the instructional designer cannot be an expert in all the topics addressed in each project.
In this sense, content coding is an extremely useful tool for the instructional designer. This technique involves searching for thought operations in the SME’s work. By analyzing passages, the instructional designer can evaluate and decide on the value of the information. When professionals write, they often reveal their thoughts, using words and phrases more out of habit than the desire to write what those words mean.
The instructional designer can use coding to guide the SME and ask, “Is this what you mean?” Some phrases and words can be coded in the SME’s work. When the instructional designer codes a work, it does not indicate that they are showing “errors.” The purpose of coding is to give the SME an opportunity to examine what they wrote and identify or clarify important points for the learner.
It is important for the SME to recognize what and why they are writing because developing formal learning solutions can be a completely foreign field for a subject matter expert. Excessive coding can become monotonous or tedious, so the instructional designer must carefully choose what will be coded.
When the instructional designer does the coding, it is important to note all extreme statements, whether they are used correctly or not, and whether they agree or disagree with the SME. Some of the most common codifications include:
- All or nothing: phrases that use words like “always,” “never,” “everything,” or “nothing.”
- Either or: phrases that use words like “or,” “another,” or “something else.”
- Restrictive words or phrases: phrases that use words like “few,” “majority,” “some,” or “all.”
- Value propositions: phrases that indicate the value or impact of something.
- Attributions: phrases that assign responsibility or cause for something.
- Other codifications: the instructional designer can use other specific codifications for each project.
- Coding other works: the instructional designer can also use coding to analyze works from other authors.
By using content coding, the instructional designer can ensure that the developed learning solution is suitable and effective. Additionally, this technique helps the SME examine what they wrote and identify or clarify important points for the learner.
All or Nothing: The Importance of Extreme Propositions
When working with SMEs, it is important to pay attention to extreme propositions used in their written works, such as “all,” “never,” and “the best.” These words can indicate value judgments or excessive generalizations that need to be carefully analyzed. That’s why coding is a useful tool for instructional designers.
How to Use Coding
Coding involves placing an X near extreme words or phrases and then asking the SME to respond to two questions:
- Are any of the sentences necessary to change? If so, which ones and why?
- What is the similarity between the sentences?
This approach can help the SME reflect on what they wrote and identify possible excessive generalizations. Additionally, it can lead to greater consideration of extreme propositions in future works.
Some SMEs may not wish to change their extreme propositions and may express this sentiment through challenges. However, it is important to accept this decision without objection and respect the SME’s responsibility for what they wrote.
It is possible that some SMEs may not be sensitive to coding and may not care to address it. Some may even complain. In general, the common response tends to be positive, and instructional designers who have used this approach have reported that subsequent works tend to reflect greater consideration of extreme propositions.
The work of instructional designers goes far beyond establishing good interpersonal relationships with SMEs. It is important to have tools and techniques to analyze and evaluate the content produced by experts. Coding is one of those tools that can help identify extreme propositions and lead to greater consideration of these ideas in future works.
However, it is important to remember that SME sensitivity can vary and that their responsibility for the content they produce must be respected. The use of coding must be done with care and respect for the SME’s work.
One thing or the other: Extreme words and hidden expressions with the “or” proposition
When creating educational materials, it is common for SMEs to use extreme words and expressions with the “or” proposition. These terms can be important, but they can also cause confusion and hinder student learning. Therefore, it is important for the instructional designer to be aware of these expressions and know how to deal with them. In this article, we will explain how content coding works in relation to extreme words and expressions with “or”.
The first step in identifying these expressions is to look for the word “or” in the SME’s material. When found, it is necessary to circle it to highlight it. In addition, it is important to be aware of expressions such as “there are two ways to do it…or three or four”, which also indicate a proposition with “or”.
Some expressions with the “or” proposition may be hidden in the text, such as “the other way to do this”. In this case, the instructional designer should draw the SME’s attention to this expression and ask if they want to modify it or accept responsibility for the proposition in its current form. The goal is to teach the SME to be responsible for what they say and to make decisions on their own.
In addition to expressions with “or”, it is also important to be aware of extreme propositions, such as “everyone, always, never, nobody, everyone” and superlatives such as “the best, the worst, the largest, the most beautiful, the highest”. These expressions can cause confusion and hinder student learning. Therefore, the instructional designer should mark all extreme propositions and draw the SME’s attention to them.
When the SME decides to maintain the extreme expression or proposition in their material, even if the instructional designer believes it should be modified, it is important to accept the SME’s decision. They are the expert in the subject and also have the responsibility to decide what is best for student learning.
Content coding is an important tool to ensure that educational material is clear, precise, and effective. By identifying extreme words and expressions with “or”, the instructional designer can help the SME improve their material and ensure that the student learns effectively. In addition, it is important to respect the SME’s decision and give them the responsibility to decide what is best for student learning.
Restrictive Words and Phrases: How to Deal with Restrictive Language in Written Work?
When writing a paper, SMEs (subject matter experts) often use words and phrases that indicate a certain restriction in relation to what they are stating, such as “seems,” “apparently,” “in my opinion,” “maybe,” “could,” “probably,” among others. These words can be marked with the letter R to indicate the restriction. However, this does not mean that the instructional designer is opposing the word or phrase. In fact, the code suggests that the SME should review what they wrote and evaluate if the restriction is really necessary.
To deal with restrictive words and phrases, an effective way is to tabulate all the words used by SMEs and classify them into groups that have approximately the same meaning in relation to the degree of conviction. This can help SMEs identify which words or phrases of restriction they use most frequently and may eventually become monotonous in their discourse.
Another way to deal with restrictive words and phrases is to draw a long horizontal line on a sheet of paper and write “absolutely right and absolutely wrong” at the far left end of the line. Write “total uncertainty” at the far right end of the line. Then ask SMEs to give phrases or words that are close to these extreme positions and try to get to the middle of the line.
The underlying principle is that we should say what we believe and believe what we say. If we are more certain, our words should indicate the degree of certainty. If we are less certain, we should restrict our proposition more. We should use words carefully so that we can communicate our thoughts as best as possible.
As instructional designers, we can pay close attention to how SMEs use restrictive expressions and help them revise their work. We can give them the responsibility for deciding on possible changes and develop habits of accuracy in expression, not habits of carelessness in communication.
In summary, dealing with restrictive words and phrases in written work is an important task to ensure clarity and accuracy of communication. By drawing a line that indicates the degree of certainty, SMEs can evaluate the best way to express their ideas and opinions. As instructional designers, it is our responsibility to assist them in this process and encourage them to develop habits of accuracy in expression.
Value Propositions: Understanding the Value and Preferences of your SMEs
When working with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), it is common to encounter expressions that indicate what they like, what they don’t like, what they prefer, and what they don’t prefer. These expressions of value are usually linked to nouns and can be identified by an instructional designer with the marking of a positive “V+” for something that is appreciated and a negative “V-” for something that is not appreciated.
For a better understanding of the value and preferences of SMEs, it is important that they classify and enumerate these words, and then write a paragraph summarizing the expressions of value employed. It is also important to question whether they were consistent throughout the work and if they omitted important values that they now wish to add.
Often, SMEs are not aware that they are revealing indicators of value. They may have written an observation report in which they should limit themselves to objective impressions, but end up including value judgments. Therefore, it is important that these expressions of value are identified and understood.
When the indicators of value are highlighted, SMEs gain an idea of what others value. This can reveal other alternatives and even generate debate about their value. It is also a way to better understand the self and the purpose of the company. When an instructional designer helps an SME to see what they stand for, they may, through reflection, reject their position, but even if they support it, they will know something more about themselves and the business.
When there are very few value propositions in the work of SMEs, a task that requires decision-making can be useful. It tends to provoke many affirmations and denials and helps to better understand the SMEs and the business.
As instructional designers, it is important that we pay attention to the expressions of value of SMEs. We must help them understand their values and preferences so that we can develop training materials that meet their needs and are effective in their respective areas of expertise.
Identifying and understanding the value propositions of SMEs is crucial to the success of creating effective training materials. By understanding their values and preferences, we can develop personalized and tailored solutions for each SME, increasing the efficiency of training and ensuring better results. It is important to encourage SMEs to reflect on their values and preferences so that they can make more conscious and responsible decisions. As instructional designers, we must be sensitive and attentive to these indicators of value to ensure the success of training and the success of the company as a whole.
Attributions: The Importance of Attributions in Communication
Attributions are expressions that SMEs often use to attribute motives, causes, preferences, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, hopes, authority, responsibility, capability, hypocrisy, and many other human weaknesses and qualities to others. Often, they are not aware that they are making such attributions and seem to believe that they are presenting “facts”. However, upon careful examination, they realize that it is difficult to be certain about motives or feelings and that such expressions need to be limited.
The Instructional Designer (ID) should code these expressions as A+ or A- and ask SMEs to enumerate and classify their attributions, as well as comment on their expressions. This can be done through a list of expressions commonly used by SMEs, classified as A+ or A-, that help understand how they are attributing values and feelings to others. For example, “he is hypocritical” is a negative attribution, while “she is an inspiring leader” is a positive attribution.
Importance of Reflection on Attributions
If we were taught about attributions from primary school and continued to reflect on the topic throughout our professional lives, we would have many opportunities to examine our habits. As in other codifications, if there is an atmosphere of acceptance and self-examination, we can all become sharper and more responsible: this leads to greater self-direction, maturity, and growth.
Attributions are a fundamental part of human communication. They help us understand the motivations and intentions of others, and make sense of our own experiences. However, attributions can be problematic if used in a negative or unfair way. For example, if an SME attributes blame to another team member without clear evidence, this can harm the working relationship.
Therefore, it is important for SMEs to reflect on their attributions and be more aware of how they are communicating. This can lead to more effective communication and a healthier and more productive work environment.
Attributions are an important part of human communication, but can be problematic if not used correctly. Instructional designers can help SMEs reflect on their attributions and be more aware of how they are communicating. This can lead to more effective communication and a healthier and more productive work environment. Reflection on attributions is critical to the personal and professional growth of SMEs and to the improvement of communication within the team.
For instructional designers, using special codes to identify and classify SME expressions can be very useful. By identifying and coding these expressions, it is possible to make a more detailed and critical analysis of the content, which can lead to a significant improvement in the quality of the work.
One example of a code used by instructional designers is “G,” which indicates that the sentence contains a generalization. This coding is useful because it allows easy identification of generalizations and thus facilitates questioning them critically.
In addition, some instructional designers use codes to identify analogies, metaphors, vague and ambiguous constructions, and propositions that indicate suspension of judgment. This allows the SME to reflect more critically on the expressions used and identify possible gaps and inconsistencies.
It is important to note that the decisions of the instructional designer should be guided by their objectives, the needs of the SMEs, and the business objectives. It is necessary to carefully evaluate the relevance and pertinence of each code used to ensure that the work is of high quality and meets the expectations and needs of all parties involved.
“Other codifications,” such as using special codes to identify and classify SME expressions, can be very useful in improving the quality of work and ensuring that the presented information is accurate, clear, and pertinent. It is up to the instructional designer to carefully evaluate the needs and objectives of the business and SMEs and use appropriate codes to ensure the effectiveness of the work.
Codification of Other Works: An Alliance with SMEs
In instructional design, there is a special situation when SMEs are asked to analyze some of the other materials chosen for the project, such as academic articles, manuals, or reports, in order to improve the quality of the learning project.
In instructional design, it can be helpful for SMEs to understand the coding used by the instructional designer to analyze and develop learning materials. The coding helps to identify extreme propositions presented in the material, propositions of value, “or” statements, “if-then” statements, attributions and generalizations, and propositions of propaganda or negative criticism. After coding the material, the SME may be asked to give an opinion or write a summary of the subject. This type of task teaches observation, summary, interpretation, critique, and responsibility, and many SMEs enjoy doing it.
However, it is not possible to use coding on all materials submitted to SMEs, as excessive use can cause boredom and monotony. Therefore, its use should be selective and discriminating in order to represent a contribution to a learning solution that emphasizes thinking.
The coding of other works also helps to improve the quality of the learning project and clarifies some of the most gross and common errors in thinking. Additionally, it is an important tool that the instructional designer uses to organize their analysis, design, and development materials.
The SME is considered responsible for coding and the criticisms made, which increases responsibility and maturity in language use. There always comes a time when working between an instructional designer and an SME can become difficult. Perhaps, if this type of task appeared more frequently during the collaboration of these professionals, both would have more opportunities to examine their habits and become more acute and responsible in their language use.
The selective and discriminating use of coding represents a contribution to a learning solution that emphasizes thinking. It is a valuable tool that the instructional designer uses to organize their analysis, design, and development materials.
Final Considerations: Interacting with SMEs and How Content Coding Can Help
The work of an instructional designer involves collaboration with subject matter experts (SMEs) to create effective learning solutions. During this interaction, the instructional designer must keep some considerations in mind to ensure effective communication with SMEs.
One of the tools that the instructional designer can use to facilitate collaboration is content coding. However, it is common for SMEs to avoid writing many words that need to be coded. In these cases, the instructional designer should ask if SMEs do not like the coding of their work and how to anticipate and address this sensitivity.
In addition, SMEs may react by trying to hide their value judgments or writing in a way that says nothing. When the instructional designer pays attention to the coded things, it can happen that SMEs become inhibited. Therefore, it is important that the instructional designer knows how to deal with this situation.
Content coding can help develop a more mature self-concept, but it is important that the instructional designer does not try to code too many things at once. When too many things are coded, SMEs can react negatively.
To use content coding effectively, the instructional designer must carefully choose what will be coded and how it will be done. Content coding can help ensure that the learning solution developed is appropriate and effective. However, it is important that the instructional designer uses the technique with care and sensitivity to ensure effective collaboration with SMEs.