Designerly Talk in Non-Pedagogical Social Spaces

Colin M. Gray, Craig D. Howard


Students live and work in worlds where virtual communities, such as those created via social network sites (e.g. Facebook) may interplay with their formal learning, but scholars of design pedagogy know little about how these spaces can support design learning. In this study, we describe how a set of informal communications, encapsulated in five student-created and managed Facebook groups, functioned as part of the overall pedagogy in an interaction design Master’s program. We discuss ways in which students may learn in these spaces apart from the formal curriculum, and document instances where communication with other students and practitioners brought about instances of self-directed learning and sharing of expertise. Some of these learning experiences emerged as designerly talk through our investigation of extended comment threads in these Facebook groups. We present the conventions of the discourse and four types of design learning embodied in specific examples, noting implications for design pedagogy and the recognition of a student-generated hidden curriculum.


designerly talk; hidden curriculum; critical pedagogy; critique; SNS; Facebook; CMC; CSCL

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