Design Thinking and UDL Planning Tool - The Great Egg Drop

The Phases

Description of Phases

UDL Connections

Plans

Reflection

1. Initial Definition of the Problem

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The educator along with the learners generate possible authentic problems within their local community (classroom, school, social, community) which includes identification of the intended audience.

Engagement (Why)

Educator provides options for recruiting learners’ interest through optimizing relevance, value, and authenticity.

Representation (What)

Educator activates learners’ background knowledge and highlighting patterns and critical features around real world problems.

As this was an introductory activity to learn about design thinking, learners are given the problem. Learners, in small groups, are presented with the problem that they first create a persona for a raw egg. Then they are introduced to the challenge - to use 25 straws and 15’ of tape to protect their egg that’s dropped from at least 10 feet. (See http://www.icebreakers.ws/medium-group/defend-the-egg.html.)

This was introduced to students in two separate parts. It worked well to have have students to develop the egg’s persona prior to knowing their task of designing the protective devices for their eggs.

2. Empathy and Perspective Taking

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Learners interview clients to gain an understanding of their needs and to see the problem from their perspective. The educator should assist learners in the interview process - in how to develop interview questions. 

Engagement (Why)

Learners have options for sustaining effort and persistency by fostering collaboration and community. They develop empathy for others as they understand the problem from the users’  perspective.  

Learners, in their small groups, create personas for their eggs - giving them names, decorating them to create a “character.” They then discuss and blog about the eggs’ feelings about their upcoming drops.

This worked great - learners treated their eggs as if they were living things. This was evident in their blog posts.

3. Idea Generation

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Learners, typically working in small groups, generate lots of ideas to solve the design thinking problem or challenge. Each generated possible design is analyzed as to its potential to resolve the design challenge. 

Representation (What)

The educator helps learners highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas, and relationships of ideas generated.  

Action and Expression (How)

Learners can use multiple tools for communicating their ideas.

Learners, in their small groups, discuss a variety of ways for using the straws and masking tape to protect their eggs from the 10” fall.

This activity was done early in the school year. Given the age of the learners plus it was early in the year, they didn’t do as good a job as they could have brainstorming and listening to one another’s ideas.

4. Create a Blueprint or Sketch of the Selected Design

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A blueprint of the selected design is created through a pencil and paper or through an online tool such as Google Draw or Sketchup using the tools that work

Action and Expression (How)

Learners illustrate the selected design to resolve the challenge through multiple media.

They then sketch their selected design using butcher block paper and pencils. During the prototyping phase (next phase), the learners revisit and refine their sketches.

Similar to above - one or two of the students in the small groups did the work of sketching. The students needed some experience learning how to work in groups.

5. Prototype - Test - Refine

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This phase is the actual creating and building of the product To get the product to work as plan often takes several iterations of prototype, test, and refine. Learners are encouraged to use the tools and building processes that work for them.

Action and Expression (How)

Learners vary the methods of response and navigation as they build the prototype. They build skills and fluencies with graduated levels of support as they test and refine the prototype.

Often during this activity, first attempts at creating the protective covering don’t adequately address the challenge of protecting their eggs. This necessitates multiple iterations of their egg’s protective covering.

This step was very successful with students learning the importance of the prototype-test-refine phase of design thinking.

6. Feedback from User

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The final design is presented to the users for their feedback. The designers ask the users about the degree to which the design met their needs asking specific questions about what worked, what still needs improvement.

Engagement (Why)

Engagement is increased through fostering collaboration and community and through an increase in mastery-oriented feedback. 

Representation (What)

The educator helps learners highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas, and relationships so they can share effective feedback with their users.

The task, itself, provides the feedback. The user in this case is the egg. The feedback is natural in that if the egg survives the drop from the playground structure, then it is successful to the user - the egg.

Love tasks like this where the feedback is natural and immediate. Learners also found it highly engaging to get that natural feedback.

7. Final Reflection

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Learners reflect on the process in a way that works best for them - blogs, photo essays, video recording, podcast, sketchnotes, illustrated ebook.

Engagement (Why)

Develop self-assessment and reflection.

Action and Expression (How)

Learners are offered a variety of multiple media for reflecting on their learning experience.

Learners are asked to find images (I, as the teacher, take lots of pictures and upload them to a shared Google Photos folder) that represent this task for them, upload the selected photo into an individual blog post, and reflect on this experience.

I had the students use their blogs to reflect on activities throughout the school year. In this case they were given the choice of photos to use although they were asked to write about their experiences.

8. Share Out

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A goal of the design thinking process is sharing learning out to a broader public. This is typically done by sharing documentation of learning and final reflections through social media

Action and Expression (How)

Learners are offered a variety of multiple media for communicating their results.

The student blogs act as a way to share out their content.

Students loved having other students as an audience - it becomes an authentic audience for them.

Developed by Dr. Jackie Gerstein @jackiegerstein and Barbara Bray @bbray27

Design Thinking and UDL Planning Tool - Gami-bot and Its Home

The Phases

Description of Phases

UDL Connections

Plans

Reflection

1. Initial Definition of the Problem

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The educator along with the learners generate possible authentic problems within their local community (classroom, school, social, community) which includes identification of the intended audience.

Engagement (Why)

Educator provides options for recruiting learners’ interest through optimizing relevance, value, and authenticity.

Representation (What)

Educator activates learners’ background knowledge and highlighting patterns and critical features around real world problems.

First, learners make a Gami-bot (see https://otherlab.com/blog/post/howtoons-gami-bot), decorate it, and then given the task to design a home for it.

Creating the Gami-bot was a high interest, highly engaging activity for all learners. Having them create a personality for it seemed to increase engagement, interest, and fun.

2. Empathy and Perspective Taking

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Learners interview clients to gain an understanding of their needs and to see the problem from their perspective. The educator should assist learners in the interview process - in how to develop interview questions.

Engagement (Why)

Learners have options for sustaining effort and persistency by fostering collaboration and community. They develop empathy for others as they understand the problem from the users’  perspective.  

Learners, in a writing, provide a description of their Gami-bots - names, characteristics, features, etc. The goal is for learners to personify their Gami-bots

Learners seemed to enjoy creating personalities for their Gami-Bots.

3. Idea Generation

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Learners, typically working in small groups, generate lots of ideas to solve the design thinking problem or challenge. Each generated possible design is analyzed as to its potential to resolve the design challenge.

Representation (What)

The educator helps learners highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas, and relationships of ideas generated.  

 

Action and Expression (How)

Learners can use multiple tools for communicating their ideas.

Learners are then asked generate a list of the types of homes their Gami-bot would like to live in.

Learners were able to successfully accomplish this task.

4. Create a Blueprint or Sketch of the Selected Design

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A blueprint of the selected design is created through a pencil and paper or through an online tool such as Google Draw or Sketchup using the tools that work

Action and Expression (How)

Learners illustrate the selected design to resolve the challenge through multiple media.

Learners are then asked to sketch a home for their Gami-bots with the knowledge that the homes are going to be constructed out of paper.

Some learners designs were better than others. When doing this in the future, students will be given some pre-instruction how to create blueprints of homes.

5. Prototype - Test - Refine

industry-clipart-engineering-mechanics-industry-md.png

This phase is the actual creating and building of the product To get the product to work as plan often takes several iterations of prototype, test, and refine. Learners are encouraged to use the tools and building processes that work for them.

Action and Expression (How)

Learners vary the methods of response and navigation as they build the prototype. They build skills and fluencies with graduated levels of support as they test and refine the prototype.

Learners then are instructed to construct their Gami-bot homes making modifications as they go based on what works and not works.

The girls in the class did better than the boys with this step. The girls drew off of one another’s ideas to make modifications to their homes. In the future, I’ll do periodic intermissions during the building process where learners share ideas with one another.

6. Feedback from User

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The final design is presented to the users for their feedback. The designers ask the users about the degree to which the design met their needs asking specific questions about what worked, what still needs improvement.

Engagement (Why)

Engagement is increased through fostering collaboration and community and through an increase in mastery-oriented feedback. 

Representation (What)

The educator helps learners highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas, and relationships so they can share effective feedback with their users.

Learners, speaking for their Gami-bots, are asked if their Gami-bots like their homes.

This seemed to help learners develop increased ability to take the perspective of others.

7. Final Reflection

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Learners reflect on the process in a way that works best for them - blogs, photo essays, video recording, podcast, sketchnotes, illustrated ebook.

Engagement (Why)

Develop self-assessment and reflection.

Action and Expression (How)

Learners are offered a variety of multiple media for reflecting on their learning experience.

Learners take pictures with their Chromebooks that represent this task for them, upload the selected photo into an individual blog post,  and discuss their Gami-bots and their homes.

I had the students use their blogs to reflect on activities throughout the school year. They seemed to enjoy taking the images and then writing them. In the future, I plan to give them more options for reflection - video, photo essay, etc.

8. Share Out

social-media-clipart-3.jpg

A goal of the design thinking process is sharing learning out to a broader public. This is typically done by sharing documentation of learning and final reflections through social media

Action and Expression (How)

Learners are offered a variety of multiple media for communicating their results.

Learners, given their age, use their Kidblogs to share out their content.

Students loved having other students as an audience - it becomes an authentic audience for them.

Developed by Dr. Jackie Gerstein @jackiegerstein and Barbara Bray @bbray27

Design Thinking and UDL Planning Tool - Design a Squishy Circuit for a Classmate

The Phases

Description of Phases

UDL Connections

Plans

Reflection

1. Initial Definition of the Problem

blue-search-icon.png

The educator along with the learners generate possible authentic problems within their local community (classroom, school, social, community) which includes identification of the intended audience.

Engagement (Why)

Educator provides options for recruiting learners’ interest through optimizing relevance, value, and authenticity.

Representation (What)

Educator activates learners’ background knowledge and highlighting patterns and critical features around real world problems.

After learning how to create Squishy circuits (see http://www.makereducation.com/squishy-circuits.html), learners are given the task to create a Squishy Circuit design based on the specifications given to them by a partner.

Squishy circuits were naturally engaging for the learners. Having the additional challenge of creating a design for one of their classmates seemed to increase engagement.

2. Empathy and Perspective Taking

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Learners interview clients to gain an understanding of their needs and to see the problem from their perspective. The educator should assist learners in the interview process - in how to develop interview questions.

Engagement (Why)

Learners have options for sustaining effort and persistency by fostering collaboration and community. They develop empathy for others as they understand the problem from the users’  perspective.  

Learners interview their partners about their desired designs - what design, colors, size (I taught students about scale).  

This activity seemed to help students learn and hone their interviewing for design creation skills. Some of their interview processes can be viewed at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOWccnOrZOA 

3. Idea Generation

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Learners, typically working in small groups, generate lots of ideas to solve the design thinking problem or challenge. Each generated possible design is analyzed as to its potential to resolve the design challenge.

Representation (What)

The educator helps learners highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas, and relationships of ideas generated.  

 

Action and Expression (How)

Learners can use multiple tools for communicating their ideas.

Learners need to get all of the details from their partners/users because the user is not permitted to handle any of the materials; making it necessary to ask the user lots of questions re: his or her design needs.

In this case, idea generation was directly connected to the previous step of perspective taking through interviewing. Student designers generated ideas and created sketches as they interviewed their partner users.

4. Create a Blueprint or Sketch of the Selected Design

download.jpeg

A blueprint of the selected design is created through a pencil and paper or through an online tool such as Google Draw or Sketchup using the tools that work

Action and Expression (How)

Learners illustrate the selected design to resolve the challenge through multiple media.

Learners sketch the desired designs of their users with the users giving them feedback during the sketching process.

See above.

5. Prototype - Test - Refine

industry-clipart-engineering-mechanics-industry-md.png

This phase is the actual creating and building of the product To get the product to work as plan often takes several iterations of prototype, test, and refine. Learners are encouraged to use the tools and building processes that work for them.

Action and Expression (How)

Learners vary the methods of response and navigation as they build the prototype. They build skills and fluencies with graduated levels of support as they test and refine prototype.

The user guides his or her partner designer throughout the prototype-test-refine process. The user and designer work together during this phase with user offering additional suggestions and the designer prototyping them.

This step was very successful in that the student designers learned about the importance of and developed increased skills for listening to their users.

6. Feedback from User

k13476841.jpg

The final design is presented to the users for their feedback. The designers ask the users about the degree to which the design met their needs asking specific questions about what worked, what still needs improvement.

Engagement (Why)

Engagement is increased through fostering collaboration and community and through an increase in mastery-oriented feedback. 

Representation (What)

The educator helps learners highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas, and relationships so they can share effective feedback with their users.

Since the user guides his or her  partner designer throughout the prototype-test-refine process so feedback, in this case, is continuous.

It was interesting and enjoyable to watch students engage in a process whereby the users provided continual feedback to their partner designers. It appeared that the students viewed the whole process as an authentic and valuable task.

7. Final Reflection

reflection-clipart-thinker-clipart-thinking-person-hi.png

Learners reflect on the process in a way that works best for them - blogs, photo essays, video recording, podcast, sketchnotes, illustrated ebook.

Engagement (Why)

Develop self-assessment and reflection.

Action and Expression (How)

Learners are offered a variety of multiple media for reflecting on their learning experience.

Learners take photos of the design they create for their partner using their Chromebooks, upload them into their individual blogs and reflect on this experience.

This is a common way I ask learners to reflect - it seems to be a consistently engaging form of reflection for them. I think in the future I might try to have them create a video and/or audio recording of their experiences.

8. Share Out

social-media-clipart-3.jpg

A goal of the design thinking process is sharing learning out to a broader public. This is typically done by sharing documentation of learning and final reflections through social media

Action and Expression (How)

Learners are offered a variety of multiple media for communicating their results.

The student blogs acted as a way to share out their content.

Students loved the idea of having other students as an audience - it becomes an authentic audience.

Developed by Dr. Jackie Gerstein @jackiegerstein and Barbara Bray @bbray27