Courtney Glazer, Ph.D.

As a part of studying the design process, I interviewed a professional designer, Patti Schank. In this interview I found that my coursework in design had painted an accurate picture of what goes on in the real world.

In Autumn 1998, I took a course with Terry Winograd, one of the most notable people in the area of Human Computer Interaction. Through CS 147, Introduction to Human Computer Interaction, I engaged in numerous design discussions and interface designs. I learned to The to analyze an interaction design, specifically its conceptual model and ontology. I also looked at a breakdown of a familiar interface to analyze what went wrong and why. I chose to examine elements of the standard toolbar in Microsoft Word.

Next, I designed a user interface which would employ Terry's information mural and enable teaching assistants to divide up students into small sections in a fun and motivating fashion. With this project I got to mix a little creativity with some sketching. Thanks to Jackie Mai and Julie Mai I also felt the power of group brainstorming in my design processes.

For the next project I worked with a highly qualified team: Chris Kramer, Computer Scientist; Mike McNelly, Mechanical Engineer; and Debbie Stephens, Learning Design Specialist. Together we designed an interface for a highly sensitive BMW 325. In phase one we planned our interface. In phase two, we went through an iterative process with our design and created a poster and web site. Through the work with this team I was able to focus on simple, practical designs and also to examine my role as a member of a design team.

Finally, as a part of this course I was able to investigate new interaction technology. I chose to focus on DataHand--an innovative glove interface which some claim was actually reverse-engineered alien technology left over from a UFO crash. In this web site I tried to employ many of the web design techniques that I had learned.

For the LDT Seminar in the Autumn quarter I chose to design a collaborative learning environment. I had a lot of trouble with this assignment perhaps because of the lack of structure. We were told to design or redesign something that would be improved by the addition of technology. I have become of the mind that adding technology to an item or a process does not necessarily improve it. Also I had become a strong advocate of the training and implementation plans that are so vital to successful uses of technology. I suppose my real issue with this project is that it focused solely on designing something with no regard to the other issues surrounding its use. Once I gave in to this project, I was able to be reflective on my personal design process.

Working with the team of JaeJung Kim, Robin Klein, and Jackie Mai, I engaged in a close study of Edward Tufte's book, Visual Explanations. I had not worked with any of these team members previously and it was a wholly rewarding experience working with them then. We struggled to understand ourselves and to help others understand. We each completed the work expected of us and even went overboard on most occasions. Most of all we were supportive and enjoyed the learning process. As a result of our study, we redesigned a visual display of information in the spirit of Edward Tufte. We chose to redesign a troublesome piece of information that we faced at the beginning of the LDT program - the Stanford registration process in terms of deadlines. Not only did I learn a huge amount about visual display, but I also learned about that darn registration process.

The LDT Advanced Seminar in the Winter quarter focused on organizational design issues and was taught by Shelley Goldman, then from the Institute of Research on Learning (IRL--now a part of WestEd), but currently a member of the Stanford faculty. Throughout the course we were given time to semi-formally reflect on the given readings. Looking back at these reflections, I see that they move toward the themes of teacher's conceptions of good teaching and teacher professional development activities. In this way I attempted to make these organizational design issues make sense with my class on Teaching and Teacher Education. The final reflection paper for this class allowed me to focus on the organizational design issues in my master's project. At the time I was working on version 1.0, but I am certain that these reflections led to my abrupt change to version 2.0 that occured a week later.