Glossary of Terms


Participatory (Co-Created) Design Learning Experiences

  • In participatory design, participants are invited to collaborate with designers throughout the learning and innovation process.


  • Design thinking is a process of taking an imaginative leap into the future and working back from desired outcome to identify what must happen.

  • 21st Century Learning Skills are defined as critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation.

  • Effective instructional flow is essential to the design of learning experiences to explore, describe, explain, demonstrate, and evaluate.

  • Action Research is a systematic, reflective and collaborative process to examine an issue and plan, implement, and evaluate change.

  • In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge.

  • The human condition is critical to successful learning and interactions. Understanding how the brain works is key to Learn.Think.Do best practices.

  • The Four Essentials of Engaging Today’s Students are fundamental to the Learn.Think.Do framework.

  • Effective instructional flow is essential to the design of learning experiences to explore, describe, explain, demonstrate, and evaluate.

Action Research

  • Dr. Betty K. Garner (former art educator) offers seven steps to conducting an action research study (the study of one’s own practice).

  • Steps: 1) identify an issue or question, 2) determine methods of data collection, 3) gather data, 4) analyze data, 5) create a plan of action, 6) assess study findings, 7) reformulate issue or question

Overarching Question and Essential Learning Components

  • Overarching Question: Identify all fundamental “know,” “able to do” and “understandings” of the project. Essential Learning Components: What are the big ideas or knowledge students will need to know?

Project-Based Learning

  • Project-based learning is a systematic teaching method that engages students in learning essential knowledge and life-enhancing skills through an extended, student-influenced inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and tasks.

Contextual Storytelling: Beginning, Middle, End

  • Part of your final submission will take the form of contextual storytelling. Given each stakeholder’s perspective, you will describe the context (set of circumstances or facts) that surround a design day event, targeted design project or awareness campaign.

  • Your contextual story will be framed by a beginning, middle and end. The beginning should catch the readers’ attention and overview of the project. The middle should contain significant details to explain the project. The ending should bring the story to a close, however cause your readers to want and need to learn more.

Learning Standards

  • Each state has established their own version of visual arts learning standards within grades K-12. As an example, visit the link above.


  • A rubric is a tool K12 educators use to assess student performance. Simply put, a matrix allows teachers to measure important criteria-based expectations in respects to a continuum of student performance.