System Design As A Three-Phase Dual-loop (TPDL) Process: Typesof knowledge-applied sources of feedback, and studentdevelopment as independent learners

Moshe Barak
2010, Vol. 15, No. 2,


This study aimed at exploring how high school studentsdeal with designing an information system, for example,for a small business or a medical clinic, the extent towhich students develop as independent learners whileworking on their projects, and the factors that help orhinder fostering students’ design skills. The three-phasedual-loop (TPDL) model for system design is proposed,according to which design consists of conceptual design,structural designand detailed design, and includes ahuman-drivenfeedback loop and an instrumentation-drivenfeedback loop. It was found that the design of areal-life system is a complicated task for high schoolstudents because it requires the integration of conceptualknowledge, primarily in the phase of defining a system’sobjectives and planning its general structure, andprocedural knowledge, for example, in the phase ofhandling the detailed design, implementation and testing.The common situation in schools is that students learnand practice using procedural knowledge, whereasachieving conceptual knowledge is a long-term process.Therefore, it is essential to engage students in design tasksof increasing complexity from early stages in school inorder to enable them to accumulate experience andconstruct their own knowledge about all phases of systemdesign.


system design, information system, conceptual andprocedural knowledge

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