Design Commentaries

Design comes originally from Latin designare, "to mark out," but according to The Dictionary of Word Origins (John Ayto), English acquired it largely from French. The current word is related to "the metaphorical use 'plan,' represented in French on the one hand by dessein 'purpose, intention,' and on the other by dessin 'pattern, drawing.'"

Design is always a matter of choices and tradeoffs. Murray Turoff, considered the father of computer conferencing, has written about the "designer's chopping block" where whichever choices are made work well for some people and not others. In addition, there are constraints in the tools and materials with which one works. Good design is a felicitous marriage of vision, function, tools, materials, and ease of use.

Our purpose in these design commentaries is to describe our purpose and intention for each aspect of the Community of Inquiry and Practice, as well as the patterns we have created and their implications.

We also want to share some of our assumptions and thinking so you will know more about why we made various design decisions.

This is a work in progress. We invite your comments and feedback on our design so we can all learn more about what works well and what needs improvement. Please click the Feedback buttons at various points in the CIP to give us your feedback.

From the 1996 Awakening Technology Community of Inquiry and Practice (CIP)
Content and Groupware Design 1996 Awakening Technology.

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From on 09/28/2023 ---- item last modified on 05/31/1997.