The I DESiGN model of purposeful thinking can be applied to any subject for any purpose by anyone. It can be used to focus on personal initiative, language use, conceptualization, communication, effective action, and assessment while learning any subject or completing any project. Any form of expression or tool able to express the model may be used, including computers, the internet, videoconferencing, a blackboard or paper and pencil.
Tools based on the model share the same structure, complement one another and can be used interchangeably. For example, pages for each way of thinking in a computer based project portfolio can be printed out on paper for use as worksheets in the classroom or at home and then the work on paper can be scanned and pasted into the appropriate sections of the computer portfolio.
I/DESiGN labels that identify each section of the portfolio and worksheet according to the way of thinking documented in them, make it easy to find, sort, organize, communicate, apply, compare and interpret the information in each section.

All you need to do to apply the I DESiGN model to a project or subject of your own is to interpret the ways of thinking it identifies in a way that makes sense to you and suits your purposes. After all, the I DESiGN model is just a guide to assure that you have considered different aspects of your project.

The model reminds you to declare your intentions (I)
describe what is involved (D)
organize your ideas (E)
present plans and proposals (S)
produce what they anticipate(i)
evaluate their success (G)
and reflect on what you have done (N)

You can use whatever words or activities you want to describe these activities as long as they represent these objectives.

It is good practice to learn the principles underlying the model and to gain experience in applying it to personal projects such as writing a paper, organizing a learning experience, or planning an event. Each way of thinking in the I/DESiGN model is a response to a basic question, and has its own purpose, normal form for the information involved and a usual way to organize the information. Referring to these characteristic features for each way of thinking can help you better understand, interpret and apply the model to meet your needs.
The basic question, purpose, typical form of information and an appropriate way to organize it for each way of thinking follows:
Answer the question: What is the purpose of this project and why should I undertake it?
The purpose of intending is to introduce and guide a project through statements that establish its goals that are organized by their priority.
Answer the question: What will be involved in this project?
The purpose of defining is to describe the elements involved in the project as separate items that can be organized by alphabet, number or kind.
The features and properties of the elements that are of interest should be described.
Consider the question: Which organizations of elements represent the ideas most relevant and helpful to your goals?
The purpose of exploring is to examine possibilities by considering the relationships between the elements of a situation and conceiving abstract structures, organizations, and associations that serve and iinterpret your purpose.
Relationships can have many forms: networks, diagrams, matrixes, formulae, etc and these forms of organization can themselves be organized according to the strength of the ideas they represent or their appropriateness to project needs.
Consider the question: What should I communicate to whom?
The purpose of suggesting is to propose solutions and plans of action in the form of presentations that presents your proposal regarding a situation to those concerned with it.
Presentations can take any understandable form expressed in any media appropriate to the situation: images, conversations, slides, video, etc..
Consider the question: How and when will I do what?
The purpose of innovating is to produce a change in the situation by taking appropriate actions in a sequential process organized by time.
Consider the question: How well have I succeeded in reaching my goals?
The purpose of goalgetting is to evaluate what has been accomplished by comparing it to the criteria for success to determine the difference between what was accomplished and what was intended. This information is usually organized by the magnitude of the difference between an outcome and the goal, standard or value that is being sought.
Consider the question: How has this experience changed what I know?
The purpose of knowing is to better understand experience and to gain knowledge that is potentially useful in future circumstances.
Knowledge comes in all the forms used in the other ways of thinking and is organized by its potential utility.

These questions, purposes, forms of information and ways of organizing information can help you interpret the I DESiGN model to suit your purposes and projects. Several examples follow to suggest how the model can be used to organize learning experiences in art, science and other subjects:


Any project may be organized by using the model as an outline for discussing, conducting and documenting it or for creating a presentation about it. No matter what its subject or duration or whether the project is organized by teachers or students, using the I/DESiGN model can help assure that the project is thoroughly considered.
A useful interpretation of the model for classroom projects is:
Intending - What are the objectives of the project? What is it about?
- What follows is shaped by the intention
Defining - What information, resources and people will be involved?
Exploring - What ideas, analogies and examples will be considered?
Suggesting - What will the experience, presentations and outcomes be like?
Innovating - What activities will occur in what order? Who will do what?
Goalgetting - What criteria will determine success? How will we measure them?
KNowing - Why will the project be useful and worthwhile?

The model offers a good outline for a lesson plan.
Intending - What are the educational objectives of this lesson.
- What follows is shaped by the intention.
Defining - What subjects, concepts and examples will be covered.
Exploring - What concepts, examples and comparisons will be analysed?
Suggesting - What presentations will the teachers and stiudents make?
Innovating - What schedule, program or activities will the students undertake?
Goalgetting - How will students determine success? How will learning be assessed?
KNowing - What connections to life will this experience have?

The model can be interpreted and applied to particular subject areas as well as to particular projects. For example projects in art and science can be structured in terms of the model.


Interpreting an artist's expression in an artwork is basic to an appreciation of art. The different perspectives in the I/DESiGN model provide a useful framework for questions that can help develop this understanding. The model can also be used as an outline for discussing existing artworks and as a practical guide for creating a personal work of art.

Intending - What was the intention of the artist?
- What follows is shaped by the intention
Defining - What features exist in the artwork?
Exploring - What ideas does the art convey?
Suggesting - Where and for whom is the art most meaningful?
Innovating - How was the work of art produced?
Goalgetting - How innovative and effective is it and why?
KNowing - What cultural significance doe it have?

Students can answer these questions regarding a period, artist, or work of art.


Science is purposeful inquiry undertaken to understand or explain how things work. The I/DESiGN model corresponds to the usual model of scientific investigation and disclosure. It can be used as an outline for discussing science subjects and as a practical guide for conducting and documenting science projects. One way a science project can be taught is by using the ways of thinking to answer the following questions.

Intending - What is the objective of the inquiry?
- What follows is shaped by the intention.
Defining - What factors must be considered?
  What is already known?
Exploring - What is the hypothesis, major idea or approach to research?
Suggesting - What are the circumstances of the experiment?
Innovating - How is the experiment conducted?
Goalgetting - What evaluation is done?
  What are the findings?
KNowing -What was learned?
  How is it useful?

Students can answer these questions in sections of a Science Project worksheet, notebook or Portfolio devoted to each question and the way of thinking associated with it.


Portfolios created in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint software can be organized into sections according like those in an I DESiGN worksheet or notebook on paper.
1. Under the File menu select New and click on the Portfolio you want to use in the template window that appears. (Saving a portfolio file as a template will put it in this window.)
2. Edit the template to suit your project by clicking on text and typing to change it.
3. Use the insert menu to add images, sounds and other things.
4. Click on Insert Hyperlink to create a clickable link to any file or type in the Internet address (URL), e-mail address, or path to the page, person or file to be linked.
5. Save the portfolio to a project folder on your hard disk or server.
6. To post the portfolio to the Internet save it as HTML to a web folder for posting.
7. E-mail the portfolio to team members who do not have access to your folder.
8. Open any portfolio iindexed in the project folder by clicking on it.
9. Use Insert Comment to suggest improvements without changing the document.
10. Reply-mail to its author or the project team or repost the portfolio to its folder.


I/DESIGN Project Planning Portfolios are used by teachers to plan a class project.
1. First, decide which teachers will be involved or interested in developing the project.
2. Create a contact e-mail list to enable quick communication among those who will contribute to the project.
3. Under the File menu in either Word or PowerPoint select New and in the template window that appears click on Project Planning Portfolio.ppt if the template has been established in PowerPoint and you want to create a presentation. If you want a text oriented document click on the Project Planning Portfolio.doc (Microsoft Word) template if it has been created. Both can have the same content and be translated into the other.
4. Edit the template (see Using An Electronic Portfolio and on-screen Help)
5. Learn how to share documents and incorporate contributions into them.
6. Be sure to set out the focus, content, and scope of each activity for the class.
7. If other documents on local computers or the Internet contain information you want to refer to, create hyperlinks to them (Be sure you test that the hyperlink works ).
8. Regularly update the portfolio to provide a current record of your curriculum plan.


I/DESiGN Class Project Portfolios can be used by teachers to present a project to students and to record the work of the class as a whole.
1. Determine the focus, content, scope and time for each presentation you will make to your class based on the content of your Project Planning Portfolio.
2. Decide how the information will be most effectively structured and presented.
3. Select appropriate tools for presenting and using information for each component.
4. If a presentation is to be to the entire class choose the Class Project Portfolio.ppt (PowerPoint) template if one has been established, and edit it to create an appropriate slide presentation to introduce3 the project to the class.
5. Refer to Using An Electronic Portfolio and to PowerPoint Help.
If other documents on local computers or the Internet contain information you want to present create hyperlinks to them (Be sure you are connected and test the hyperlink).
6. Afterwards, edit a copy of the original presentations to summarize student work in each section.
7. Create a project web site about your Class Project by hyper linking to significant student work from an overall project portfolio.


I/DESiGN Student Project Portfolios which the students will use to develop their work on a project can be prepared by teachers or students.
1. Decide how students will work together on the project.
2. Decide what information will be pre-structured in portfolios, what will be added through teacher led activities and what information students will develop on their own.
3. Label and customize Student Project Portfolios for individual students or student teams by entering appropriate Intention statements in the first section and goal criteria or expected results in the Goalgetting section.
4. In the Defining section enter resources that the students will use or provide information about the items involved to the extent that you determine is appropriate.
5. Provide information in each section to guide the students as they develop their portfolios.
6. Distribute the portfolios to the students on disk, by E-mail, in a project folder or through a website to provide structure and content for the lesson.


Students use I/DESIGN Student Project Portfolio templates that may or may not have been customized by their teacher to guide and organize their project work or structure their portfolio development.
1. If not distributed by the teacher, students create project portfolios by calling up a Student Project Portfolio template and renaming, editing and saving it to a project folder designated by the teacher. (Teachers may establish passwords to control access to folders by individuals or groups.)
2. Students edit and add content to the portfolio guided by the pages of the portfolio template, classroom instruction and peer interaction.
3. If there is Internet connectivity in the classroom, students' access the resources listed in the portfolio, copy material from the web directly into their portfolio in response to questions raised there or download material to their computer for copying and editing.
4. After students have sufficiently developed and self assessed their work their portfolios are shared with team members or advisors to get comments, suggestions and assessments.
5. Students may bring up any portfolio in folders they have access to by clicking on it.
6. Comments may be added to an open file by selecting Comment under the Insert menu.
7. When sufficiently developed, or as directed by the teacher, students present their notebooks on their classroom computer, large monitor or videoconferencing system.
8. When adequately developed a Student Project Portfolio is evaluated and edited for posting to the public website.


I/DESIGN can be used as a guide to organize and conduct a class project to produce a video..
Intending- First, establish what your video will be about.
Discuss and document your goals on the Intending page of a project portfolio.
Consider your intended audience and what they would like to know and see.
Develop a script or story outline that could convey your message./font>
Defining- Brainstorm and list images, sounds and messages that should be in the video.
List, label, indicate type and describe each shot to be taken.
Use wide shots to show story location or someone coming into the scene;
Medium distance shot to show the action situation;
Close up shots to emphasize the main character or subject;
Extreme close-ups to show motivation and detail;
Medium close ups to focus on something or show reactions;
Exploring- Find or shoot the images you need and bring them in to the Storyboard.
Use a video camera or flexicam to capture moving images and sound,
Import images from a videotape or disk or capture them with the flexicam, a digital still camera or scanner.
Revise the sequence or add new shots to improve the flow of the narrative.
Suggesting- Document in the storyboard, how, when and by whom the shot will be (or was) produced.
Introduce editing tips for each shot in the Storyboard to guide production.?
Innovating- View the sequence you have established and edit the lengths of each clip.
Select, enter and adjust special effects and transitions between shots.
Select scrolling, font, size color and justification and enter all titles and text.
Import or record sound clips and edit duration, volume and fade for any clip.
Import or remove material from the library to the time line or vice-versa
Goalgetting- Show your video to representatives of your intended audience, critique it and refine its content and production before publishing it to tape, or disk.
KNowing- Plan and conduct events to present your video to its intended audience.
Consider what other videos could be made to expand on what you have done.
Compile a library of shots that might be reused in other videos or presentations.