In educational design research, improved design is achieved through multiple iterations of the design. Iterations occur at both the macro and the micro level. In this study macro iterations occurred at the program design level. With each new data point, the overall iFPD program design was adjusted to account for the new information. In addition, iteration occurred at the workshop level and the artifact level. Individual workshop design was conceptualized and re-conceptionalized to address the changing context in which the research was taking place. Finally, the artifacts themselves (website, eBook, and workshop handouts) went through multiple iterations of design to ensure the information they presented flowed appropriately and worked for the environment in which it was to be delivered.
In design, iteration is necessary and is constant, however, this poses an interesting conflict with research practices. It would be completely not practical to have to re-submit research ethics requests with each iteration. However, there does come a time in the project when enough things change, that the reapplication to ethics becomes necessary. I’ve now reached that point. I can no longer work within the constraints of my current data collection tools. In addition, the nature of participation in my project has changed.
So, now I need a new diagram that illustrates my data collection – because that will show the changes to the protocol. The review of the research questions looked good – the questions aren’t changing. I’m still trying to solve the same problem (statement of the problem is good), but the actual design of the program and the approach to solving the problem is fundamentally different. I think this is in part because the pre-curser information wasn’t available, so there is much more focus on that information, but also because the organizational context has shifted – the people involved in faculty development are different (new fac dev director) and the team of physicians that I’m working with is different. I had anticipated having more physicians volunteer to work as physician facilitator – that did not happen. Funding changed, which meant I had a reduced set of people to work with (Fac Dev budget doesn’t allow for compensating community physicians). We have also moved further along in the adoption cycle. Rather than the tablets being new and interesting, we are shifting to the slope of disillusionment. The devices have been in people’s hands long enough that the newness effect isn’t enough to keep then interested in the program. With that, we are seeing a drop of in interest in attending workshops. That at least might explain it … I will need to ask the question on the survey at the retreat.