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Design patterns capture proven solutions for recurrent problems. The goal is to externalize the implicit knowledge of an expert, using a highly structured description format for documentation. Patterns have been around for decades, they are a success story in the field of software design, and recently have become popular in the field of education. We see a quickly emering pattern landscape of great variety both in scope and structure, comprising teaching scenarios, technologies, tools and instructional techniques. Will e-learning patterns be equally successful as their pendant in software development or is the remake doomed to failure? The workshop will tackle this question from multiple perspectives.


Capture the state of the art
An increasing number of projects and initiatives collect patterns or best practices in the field of e-learning and education. The workshop is a great opportunity to get a broad overview of recent and upcoming activities. In outlining common attempts across different approaches as well as specific requirements and unique documentation strategies we want to empower projects to share their knowledge and refine their own profile.

Establish quality standards
Patterns depict good design but how do you pick a good design pattern? Due to the lack of established methods and scientifically sound criteria to evaluate the quality of patterns, users have troubles to distinguish excellent patterns from poor examples. This confusion severly hinders the successful dissemination of patterns and the pattern idea in general. For educational patterns in particular, measuring “proven design solutions” proves to be difficult. Hence, the workshop will address the question of quality: Which methods are available for pattern mining, pattern writing and pattern evaluation? How can we access the value of a pattern from a scientist's ands practitioner's angle? How can patterns balance the scientific accuracy and the practical applicability?

Foster Dissemination
One of the core ideas of the pattern approach is to create handbooks with practical advice for recurrent design tasks. First and foremost, patterns have to be useful to the practitioner. While software design patterns are used in daily routine (both successful and with failure) pedagogical patterns are far from being broadly accepted as design guides. The workshop offers an opportunity to discuss ways of spreading the word within the instructional design community. We wil critically reflect the preconditions that have to be fulfilled to establish the fruitful use of patterns.

Reach out to related fields
The systematic documentation of instructional methods is often found in e-learning portals, manuals or repositories. The authors of co-operation scripts or design principles seldomly use the term patterns. Nevertheless, the activities result in similar description formats. What are the consequences for the pattern community? Is it necessary to define our borders or should we head for new frontiers? We will discuss to what extent structured descriptions provided by related fields are part of or apart from the pattern approach.

Initiate Co-operation
To make patterns sustainable in the pedagogical field, the aim of the workshop is to build a community of practice. A network of research and development partners will be able to share experiences, to develop joint projects, to define processes and to negotiate quality standards. This will foster the scientific discourse as well as the practical impact. Hence, the workshop will offer several options to intiate co-operation. Are you interested in coordinating a pattern repository? Do you want to play an active role in the dissemination of patterns? Do you want to join a pattern authoring team? We are looking forward to getting in touch!


Please register until February 25th:

For more information about the workshop, please contact Christian Kohls.
Mail: c.kohls(at)iwm-kmrc.de

Workshop Organization:
Christian Kohls, Joachim Wedekind,