Iterative design is an approach of incrementally developing and refining a design based on feedback and evaluation. Iterative design can apply to a learning experience, the creation of media, or the development of learning systems.
Some practical examples of iterative design:
- Wiki - A wiki is a natural repository for iterative design. The 'Page History' facility allows tracking back to prior versions. Modifications are mostly incremental, and leave substantial parts of the text unchanged.
- Common law - The principle of legal precedent builds on past experience. This makes law a form of iterative design where there should be a clear audit trail of the development of legal thought.
- Evolution - There is a parallel between iterative and the theory of Natural Selection. Both involve a trial and error process in which the most suitable design advances to the next generation, while less suitable designs perish by the wayside. Subsequent versions of a product should also get progressively better as its producers learn what works and what doesn't in a process of refinement and continuous improvement.
There are several instructional design models based on the principle of iterative design:
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