Student reflections on Design Thinking
In order for the Design Thinking process to be most effective, students need to know the following prior to embarking on the Design Thinking process itself:
2. Synthesis of information
The ability to both prioritize and evaluate inputs is very important. Also, the ability to clearly articulate reasons for choices made is a vital learning component. Students need to constantly circle back to check on their assumptions, methodology, and conclusions. In a clear departure from many expected K-12 outcomes, students are not expected to look for answers here. It is the process and capacity to choose the most logical course of action that is valued.
Successful ideation includes linking groups of ideas and insights with information gleaned from the interview process. It is important that students need to write their ideas down on a storyboard. In this way, everyone in the group has an opportunity not only to contribute to the discussion, but also to be recognized by the group. In many cases, more retiring participants can find their ideas negated by more dominant group members. Smaller groups of students, in the range of 4-6 students, is the preferred size given the complexity and length of the Design Thinking process.
This process involves actions taken to make a story tangible. How are ideas best investigated and presented? Building, drawing, creating, and presenting stories in a compelling way is the focus here.
In addition to the skills needed to be successful at Design Thinking, the following general skills serve students very well in complex learning situations:
- Oral presentation
The ability to maximize the effectiveness of feedback results in stronger and more accurate outcomes and conclusions. Taking accurate notes and honing in on the ability to constructively build on ideas learned and presented enriches the feedback process.
The degree to which one is able to value the ideas of others, how one includes each participant in deliberations, and how to occasionally value the ideas of others over one’s own, are all functions of the student’s self-awareness. Group dynamics, interactions, and productivity are greatly enhanced when learners have a sense of their own personality traits.
All of these skills can be taught during the Design Thinking process itself. It is preferable, however, to have these skills in place prior to commencing with Design Thinking in order to focus prepared students’ full attention on the task at hand.
Did you miss the first installment of our Design-Thinking report? Or are you now ready to read the final post covering teacher reflections? Enjoy!
Photo Credit: Sharon Sinclair