Personal Introduction

Hi my name is Bobbi Kyle,  I’m an interaction and industrial designer with a Bachelor of Design from Emily Carr University. I’ve always had a keen interest in design for health, wellness and education, mingled with experience in web and communications design. The Master of Education Technology (MET) at UBC has allowed me to bridge this knowledge into an interdisciplinary practice.

Note: MET ePortfolios are generally written from a first-person perspective due to their highly personal nature.

Connecting the disciplines

Problem & Background

I’ve often felt a noticeable sense of lack in the application of technology for teaching and learning. For me, the issue lies with educational design being labeled as such, without the integration of formal design discipline methodology. As a designer, I tend to notice when the art, theory, and science of the artificial is absent from technology-based (blended or online) instruction. This ePortfolio maps out process linkages between design and EdTech to enhance my integrative practice.


The intended audience for this EdTech ePortfolio consists of interaction and instructional designers, adult educators, employers, (myself for reflective practice) and professionals in post-secondary design, dynamic media and applied technology fields. My secondary audience includes MET peers and instructors.

Two dominant cultures of education

Guiding Literature

The writings of Nigel Cross (2006) guided my efforts, supporting my concern about the neglected importance of design in education. In a nutshell, Cross asserts that there has long been two dominant cultures in education: the sciences, and the arts and humanities. Each brings its own values, methods, and phenomena of study to education.

  • In the sciences: the natural world
  • In the humanities: human experience
  • In design: the artificial world

– (Cross, 2006, p.2)

Design is positioned as a third (missing) culture, bridging the practical, innovative, technical and designerly processes of inquiry that lead to the development of designerly ways of knowing (2006, p.9).

“Perhaps it would be better to regard the ‘third culture’ as technology, rather than design. This ‘material culture’ of design is, after all, the culture of the technologist – of the designer, doer and maker. Technology involves a synthesis of knowledge and skills from both the sciences and the humanities, in the pursuit of practical tasks; it is not simply ‘applied science’, but ‘the application of scientific and other organized knowledge to practical tasks’” (p.2).

Meaning & Significance

Design is the art of the artificial; it is born from a deep understanding of material and technical culture, visual culture, new media, and dynamic media practice. In the online world, where the role of the physical body changes, the design of dynamic learning materials and environments gains importance.

As technologies continually evolve, they present new challenges. Designers are solutions-oriented experts and practitioners of the artificial. We are critical-thinkers comfortable working in the domain of ill-structured or ill-defined (real-world) problems. Being solutions-oriented is of particular relevance in applied technology fields where problems are fuzzy, and the application of the artificial has a significant impact.