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what is Griffith University, Master of Digital Design 7047QCA – Digital Design, Theory and Practise, Ying Zhou Amanda Shepherd. s2736689. © Amanda Shepherd March, 2013


FRED is Ebenezer Scrooge’s nephew and only living relative. FRED Federal Reserve Economic Data, FRED is an online database consisting of more than 61,000 economic data time series from 54 national, international, public, and private sources. FRED is an internet video series centering around the dysfunctional 6-year-old Fred Figglehorn, created by Lucas Cruikshank. FRED is a derisive term used by “serious” road cyclists to describe other cyclists who do not conform to serious road cyclists’ norms with regard to dress and equipment, and appear amateurish to them. FRED Financial Reporting Exposure Draft (UK Accounting Standards Board). FRED Frame Editor. FRED Fast Recovery Epitaxial Diode. FRED Food and Resource Economics Department. FRED Flashing Rear End Device (railroad). FRED Fathers Reading Every Day (Texas). FRED Federal Reserve Economic Database. FRED Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device (Digital Intelligence, Inc.). FRED Faculty Research Expertise Database (Penn State). FRED Flipping Ridiculous Electronic Device. FRED Florida Research & Economic Database. FRED Resembles EMACS Deliberately (Editor for Macintosh Allegro Common LISP). Free Range Education (UK). Federated Repositories for Education (Australia). Field Remote Expeditionary Device (Stargate). Flight Recorder Electronic Documentation. FRED Fuzzy Reasoning Edge Detection (NASA nonexclusive patent license agreement). FRED Field Ration Eating Device (Australian Army). FRED Fog Reduction Elimination Device (for laparoscope lenses). FRED Framed Raw Expanded Data. FRED Fast Reliable Easy Dispensing. FRED Freaking Ridiculous Electronic Device. FRED Freaking Radical Engineering Design. FRED Facilities Request Data Base. FRED Flexible Rate Easy Deposit (Gateway Credit Union). FRED Florida Re-Engineers Development. FRED Forward Ranging Electronic Device (thermal infrared mobile surveillance uni). FRED Flexible Risk Exposure Database (insurance). FRED Father’s Rights for Equality in Divorce (Pazner Law Firm, PC; Michigan). FRED Failure Reporting, Evaluation and Display (automotive system reliability) FRED Force Requirements Enhanced Database (USCENTCOM). FRED Friendly Robotic Educational Device. FRED Fire, Release, Explosion and Dispersion Models (Shell). FRED First Responder External Defibrillator (medical equipment). FRED Freely Relational Education Design

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A Freely Relational Educational Design (FRED) Item is one small part of the education

A Freely Relational Educational Design (FRED) – Item is a unit of assessment for students

revolution being experienced worldwide today, and is building the foundations for a new

of the Master of Digital Design Program at Griffith University. More specifically, FRED is a

attitude of assessment through ‘investing in your own learning’. The concept of FRED,

doctoral research qualifier project (Keane, 2012) designed by Mr David Keane, who is the

allows students to actively progress though the Master of Digital Design course at an

current Program Convenor for the Master of Digital Design at Queensland College of Art.

independent pace, whilst consciously reflecting the traditional postgraduate, research based

FRED consists of specific processes that combine to make up the entirety of the FRED-Item,

projects that contain a certain structure, or process. Through careful collaboration with

each of which is unique to the student’s area of specialty or interest. FRED is designed to

lecturers and academic staff, fellow students and co-workers, learners should be able to

help meet the expanding needs of the traditional face-to-face pedagogy that exists within

define and clarify their individual learning goals for each FRED-Item before committing to,

universities at present, and the introduction of ‘Massive Open Online Courses’ (MOOC)

and developing their research topic or concept. FRED encourages the student to ‘immerse’

(Keane, 2012, p. 6) and Adaptive Learning programs that are being established worldwide.

themselves in their work. To make a personal investment in what they are learning.


FRED-Ref FRED, Design, Digital, Stacked FRED, Postgraduate learning, Adaptive learning

FRED is designed to enable each individual to ‘invest’ in his or her own learning, and the subject matter and research content of each FRED-Item is set by the student (unless otherwise specified). This method of assessment allows coursework postgraduate student to experience and explore research methods that would otherwise be the realm of research

Web keywords Postgraduate learning, Education Design, Digital Design

only postgraduates, and is designed to allow for small, individual research projects (individual FRED-Items) or larger, more complex research projects comprising of multiple milestones and phases (Stacked FRED-Items). FRED-Items reflect the traditional postgraduate, research based projects in that they must commit to a certain structure, or process. Traditional research theses typically contain three processes or sections:

Preliminary sections: Title Page, Abstract, Acknowledgments, Table of contents, List of Tables, figures and illustrations. Content: Literature review, Main body, Results, Discussion and Conclusion Supporting sections: Bibliography and Appendices (Murray and Hughes, 2008. p. 137)


Introduction continued


FRED-Item requirements are relative in that they should follow a specific process, and can

Firstly, the Preliminary Section should include ID Labels (Identity Labels) for each FRED item

be broken down into a similar structure, with slightly differing content requirements due to

are the most basic information to begin with, however are also an essential component of

the digital nature of the course. These are as follows:

each FRED-item, without them it is impossible to distinguish who the author/student of the

Preliminary sections: ID Labels, Title, Stacked, Abstract, Fred-Ref and Web Keywords Content: Content is student centric and should relate to the individuals area of specialisation, i.e. education. It can be an essay, a video tutorial, an experiment or exploration etc. Supporting sections: References, Appendices and possible future investigations Investigate via Q&A

FRED-Item is and therefore allocate marks accordingly. ID Labels are to include information such as the University Name, Course, Subject and Lecturer, followed by the Student Name and Number and finally the respective Dates and Copyright information for the FRED-Item. The preliminary section should also include a Title Page, stating the topic of the FRED-Item clearly (in this case; What is FRED?). Titles should be concise and describe the FRED-Item accurately. It is not necessary for the Title page to contain page numbers, numbering can start on the contents page (if there is the need to include one) or the page following the Title Page. FRED-Items can be ‘stacked’, meaning that if you are hoping to complete a larger and more in-depth project or research item, you can break this down into smaller stages and focus on each stage as a separate FRED-Item (with prior approval from your lecturer).

To discuss the question ‘What is Fred’ in further detail, I will clarify the sections in the order

Stacked FRED-Items should be numbered accordingly and included in the preliminary

presented above.

section (in this case the number is Part 1 of 1 and the information has been included on the Title Page). The abstract should also be included in the preliminary information, however as the Abstract is an overview of the content, this should be the last item written. The Abstract should entice the prospective reader to want to read more; it is the ‘marketing’ for your FRED-Item. The last two items in the preliminary section are the FRED-Ref (specific language used in your profession or discipline) and Web Keywords (more general terms), both critical elements in helping potential readers and researchers to search and find your FRED-Item. This completes the preliminary section of designing a FRED-Item, and if done correctly should have introduced enough information to engage the reader/viewer and lead them to your content, which contains the bulk of your research. Before discussing the content, or main body of work in further detail, it should be noted that there is an element of assumed knowledge about the subjects and interests that are relevant to each individual student, but the ideas and concepts for each FRED-Item are collectively inspired and defined by the group as a whole during face-to-face contact time in lectures and tutorials. In order to fulfil the requirements of each item in the marking criteria, the student must fully comprehend what is required of them. Through forging relationships with lecturers and academic staff, fellow students and co-workers, learners should be able to define and clarify their individual learning goals for each FRED-Item before developing


Content continued their research topic or concept. According to Schellings and Broekkamp, ‘Self-regulated

The challenge facing Digital Designers now, is that the emphasis for education is on self-

learning has been described as an adaptive process: students adapt their learning

directed learning, however there is the need to stress the importance and necessity of

strategies for attaining different learning goals. In order to be adaptive, students must have

collaboration and feedback throughout the learning process. There is much research to

a clear notion of what the task requirements consist of.’ (Schellings & Broekkamp, 2011, p. 1).

suggest ( that the new

The content for your FRED-Item contains the research findings, any argument(s) that

direction of creativity will be a largely collaborative process due to the increasingly accessible

may be relevant and an evaluation. Research for a FRED-Item can be from a diverse

forums, blogs and social networking sites available to design thinkers today. It would be

range of: media books, websites, videos, interviews, lectures, conversations, magazines,

contradictory for us then, as digital designers, to ignore the reformation process that is taking

journals etc. Students in the Master of Digital Design program are encouraged to enquire,

place worldwide, and to keep our innovative new ideas and pursuits to ourselves until the due

ask questions, challenge problems and actively pursue answers and research to gain

date of our FRED-Item. A good idea, through careful, intelligent collaboration in a community

knowledge, hence the definition of FRED being ‘invest in your own learning’. For most

of like minded thinkers, could evolve into a great idea. Lectures, conventions, meetings and

FRED-Items this definition will be realised in the early design thinking1, conceptual or

gatherings can thus be considered imperative to FRED-Item research if correctly documented

ideation stages when each student develops their FRED-Item subject. Bruce Archer

though video, recordings and notes.

defined that Design research is systematic inquiry whose goal is knowledge” (Bayazit,

This leads me to discuss the Supporting Sections for each FRED, such as References,

2004). Research can lead to further inquiry or evidence to support your FRED-Item

Appendices, possible future investigations etc. References are to be included in each FRED-

content, both of which provide newly gained and supported knowledge.

Item and are to be formatted in APA web style. Referencing can validate and support your

The concept of FRED, allows students to actively progress though the Master of Digital

research, so is an essential component of any FRED-Item. ‘Referring to the ideas of other

Design course at an independent pace. FRED-Item contents should contain a thoroughly

scholars and established writers in your work is important because it makes your writing more

documented process of what has been learned during the research, and whether any

potent and convincing by showing your knowledge of the subject area.’(Murray & Hughes,

experiments or concepts have failed (and if so for what reason?) or whether they have

2008. p. 67) Just as the FRED-Item itself will be unique to each student, the process of

been successful, in which case there will be evidence in the final outcome. Providing that

gathering research and developing content will also be unique. Research can come in all forms,

each process is documented, a FRED-Item could result in a possible High Distinction

it is more than just information, it is inspiration, observation and understanding, and your final

even if the final project failed; it is the documentation and research process that is being

FRED should express all of this. Careful recording and documentation of all FRED research

assessed, rather than the outcome. Lecturers and supervisor can help provide direction

will ensure that this important part of the process will be easily pulled together on completion

and inspiration throughout the research process, which can help your FRED-Item evolve,

and avoid any plagiarism issues. In addition to the citation of References are the Appendices.

or alternatively help you to see when your idea has run its course. ‘Self-regulated learners

Appendices can include but are not limited to, images, graphics, additional documents, videos,

are characterized as committed participants who efficiently control their own learning

audio etc. that do not usually flow well within the main body of work. Appendices will be

experiences in many different ways, including organizing and rehearsing information

numbered and referenced in the relevant content and then labelled accordingly at the back of

to be learned; monitoring their thinking processes and seeking help when they do not

the FRED-Item. The final components in our Supporting Section should include any possible

understand; and holding positive motivational beliefs about their capabilities and the value

further investigations or FRED topics. Questions may have arisen during the research process

of learning (Boekaerts, Pintrich, & Zeidner, 2000; Schunk & Zimmerman,1998)’.

that could potentially provide ideas, thoughts, concepts or questions that lead to a further FRED-Item(s).

1 Design thinking relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that have emotional meaning as well as being functional, and to express ourselves in media other than words or symbols.



Summary and Conclusion

The final section should be a reflection on the FRED process. The Question and Answer

In summary, FRED-Items are a vocation specific form of assessment designed for the Master

Section is to enable the marker to gauge your level of comprehension of the research

of Digital Design by the course convenor Mr David Keane. FRED-Items follow a specific

subject and analyse your level of ‘conceptual thinking’. Seen as an integral part of the

structure in order to guide and progress students through their research items, and though

FRED process, the Q&A section can be presented in a number of different formats

each item is unique to the individual student, FRED-Items can be developed in a multitude

dependant on the content, as such, I have included a Q&A form in the Appendix at the

of digital formats but should be related to your area of expertise. Whilst researching it is

back of this document.

imperative to utilise efficient note-taking and record keeping in order to avoid confusion and carelessness when writing up your references which could potentially result in copyright or plagiarism. What emerges from this discussion, is that FRED-Items are intrinsically unique to each student, and therefore the question ‘What is FRED?’ can only be answered on a fundamental level. I have therefore broken down FRED-Items to their essential components and provided my interpretation of each of these based on my understanding of the question. FRED provides students with an open brief to explore areas of opportunity and designs that are of interest to them, without the constraints of traditional research based study. FRED is part of the education revolution that we are experiencing today, and is building the foundations for a new attitude of assessment through ‘investing in your own learning’. FRED encourages the student to ‘immerse’ themselves in their work. To make a personal investment in what they are learning. As Geoff Mulgan suggested ‘You work by learning, and you learn by working’.




Bayazit, N (2004). Investigating Design: A Review of Forty Years of Design Research. Design Issues: Winter 2004, Vol. 20, No. 1, Pages 16-29 doi:10.1162/074793604772933739

Investigate via Q&A

Boekaerts, M., Pintrich, P. R., & Zeidner, M. (Eds.). (2000). Handbook of selfregulation. San Diego: Academic Keane, D. (2012). 2ndinternationalsem_teaching_gradstudents_2012k. Retrieved from freddavidkeane_2ndinternationalsem_teaching_gradstudents_2012k.pdf Leadbeater, C. (2005). The era of open innovation. Retrieved from http://www. Mulgan, G. (2011). A short intro to the Studio School. Retrieved from http:// Murray, N & Hughes G. (2008). Writing up your University Assignments and Research Projects A practical handbook. (p. 137, p. 67). Retrieved from Open University Press Norvig, P. (2012). The 100,000-student classroom. Retrieved from http://www. Schellings and Broekkamp’s (2011). Signaling task awareness in think-aloud protocols from students selecting relevant information from text. Metacognition Learning 6:65–82. doi 10.1007/s11409-010-9067-z Schunk, D. H., & Zimmerman, B. J. (Eds.). (1998). Self-regulated learning: From teaching to self-reflective practice. New York: The Guilford Press

ID Labels:  niversity, Course, Subject, Lecturer U Student Name, Student Number Dates, Copyright

Title Stacked: Is this a stacked FRED-Item? Abstract FRED-Ref Web Keywords Content References Appendix Possible Future Investigations Investigate via Q & A