Instructional Design

... for Impact

A new approach or idea for instruction is not a solution until we evaluate its impact in the classroom. Although we should consider how we think and feel about this idea, we must also include the student’s perspective and understand how it changes or influences the learning experience. Only when we commit to integrating this process are we designing for impact.

... for Growth

We often think about creativity as out the box thinking, but as teachers, we must generate solutions to problems in the box. As we engage in the creative process, we learn new skills, develop new knowledge, and increase our overall agency in the classroom. Our commitment to innovation in our environment is a commitment to personal growth and lifelong learning.

... for Equity

A typical classroom environment consists of over twenty students; furthermore, a teacher might teach multiple sections of the same class. How do we accommodate so many student groups? Design Thinking emphasizes a focus on the end-user – the student. Student dynamics, intersectionality, and understanding each individual’s context help in the design for equity.

In the box design

What is In the Box It’s a website/e-book with links to original video tutorials and episodes from The Fueling Creativity Podcast.

The material focuses on using digital media and technology to promote teacher creativity in a teaching and learning environment. The work builds on sociocultural theory, which explores how people and context shape how we respond and view problems inside the classroom (the box). I promote teacher creativity as a design mindset that increases teacher agency when working with new technology or implementing new instructional strategies.

In the Box Design

by Matthew Worwood

I have experience designing new and innovative programs in education. In this work, I’ve learned to focus on the variables I can control in the environment and the areas I can influence. My research focuses on creativity and design thinking in the context of teaching and learning. I earned my doctoral degree and Johns Hopkins University and publish on design-based practices that impact the development and implementation of Digital Media in education. In the Box Design is a Website that showcases my thinking on how Creativity helps us identify and address problems in our classroom environment.

I am a professor of Digital Media Design at the University of Connecticut. I also blog at and co-host the Fueling Creativity podcast. Feel free to connect with me if you’re interested in a workshop or speaking engagement on creativity, design thinking, or schooling for a digital culture. 

Areas of Focus

Digital Media in Education and Culture25%
Design Thinking in Education30%
Creativity in the Classroom25%
Instructional Design and Education Technology20%

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    From Testimonials

    • I loved the part on solutionitus! I think as teachers, we tend to want to fix a problem immediately, so learning to slow down, analyze, and evaluate multiple ideas before proposing a solution was really helpful.

      Maria Muszynska
      Grade 1 Teacher
    • This experience helped broaden my definition of creativity and to think specifically about Teacher Creativity. It expanded my definition of simply “out of the box solutions” and “engaging activities” to a broader definition that includes the creative process, outcome, and considering ideas within their social context.

      Massalha Shady
      Grade 4 Teacher
    • I plan to use what I learned in the workshop throughout the upcoming school year. As a teacher, you are exposed to many different tools and theories through various platforms, and it can be overwhelming. I think applying these strategies to help you think about problems specific to your classroom is helpful in exploring possible solutions based on what works best for you.

      Mark McManus
      Elementary Math Teacher
    • The Semester Challenge is a great way to apply what we learned and use creativity to help us grow as teachers, and solve problems in our own classrooms. I hope we are able to meet again and build on this work.

      Maria Muszynska
      Grade 2 Teacher