Interaction Strategies –> Morgan, Brickell, & Harper

Mediating artifacts

What mediating artifacts are being used during the lesson? [Note: mediating artifacts is a broadly inclusive concept. Only include things that are contributing directly to learning]:

  • Digital technologies (hardware and software):
  • Physical tools (markers, staplers, toys, costumes, etc.):
  • Material elements of the learning space (classroom) such as tables, lights, couches:
  • Representational systems: signs and symbols, such as language, images or mathematical symbols:


Potential Energy: Problem Solving with Technology

Grades 9-12 / Science / Physics


What are the affordances (and/or constraints) of the mediating artifacts being used?

  • Subjective affordances, whether assumed by the teacher or known by the students


Google Docs in the Classroom

Grades 9-12 / All Subjects / Collaboration

Interaction strategies

What are the interaction strategies (designed or planned to encourage students to think, i.e. to engage in thoughtful activity)? Not limited to procedures or processes (for instance used to solve problems or to engage in analysis, or to report findings, etc):

“This study is particularly concerned with the effect of interaction strategies that have been embedded into the interface of the tools that learners employ.” (p. 129)

  • Between students and/or mediating artifacts:
  • Between teacher(s), student(s), and/or mediating artifact(s):
  • Small group, whole class, individual:
  • Protocols such as think, pair, share or a gallery walk, etc.:
  • Effects of, Effects with:
  • Translation:
  • Monitoring:
  • Offloading


Exploring Immigration: Maps & Migration

Grades 6-8 / Social Studies / Film

Two concluding quotes

Teachers as Instructional Designers

“Bringing the internal cognitive resources of the individual (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1971) into coordination with the external resources available in the environment is important in order to promote effective learning. The design of effective learning environments therefore depends on the ability of instructional designers to understand the cognitive impact of mediating artifacts (Vygotsky, 1980) on the cognition of learners and to design mediating artifacts with the appropriate configuration of affordances and constraints.” p. 126

The Design of technologically enhanced learning environments –> re-crafting of their environment

“… learners need to be encouraged to undertake re-crafting of their environment to assist them in their cognitive activities, thereby developing and practicing the skill of constructing mediating artifacts that fix patterns of thinking in ‘permanent or semi-permanent forms’ that can be propagated for later use.” p. 128