This is a nice introduction to packaging design produced for the Design Council website. It's worth reading to think about how we might present similar material, and whether or not we could simply use something like this in the course material.
Abstract: "In this study we
describe a mechanism for supporting a community of learning scientists
who are exploring educational technologies by helping them to share and
collaboratively build design knowledge. The Design Principles Database
(DPD) is intended to be built and used by this community to provide an
infrastructure for participants to publish, connect, discuss and review
design ideas, and to use these ideas to create new designs. The
potential of the DPD to serve as a collaborative knowledge-building
endeavor is illustrated by analysis of a CSCL study focused on
peer-evaluation. The analysis demonstrates how the DPD was used by the
researchers of the peer-evaluation study in three phases. In the first
phase, design principles were articulated based on a literature review
and contributed to the DPD. In the second phase, a peer-evaluation
activity was designed based on these principles, and was enacted and
revised in a three-iteration study. In the third phase, lessons learned
through these iterations were fed back to the DPD. The analysis
indicates that such processes can contribute to collaborative
development of design knowledge in a community of the learning
sciences. Readers of ijCSCL are invited to take part in this endeavor
and share their design knowledge with the community." Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (2006) 1: 187–201
I think this database might either be of direct use to us and our students or we could use this idea and adopt it in our course. This would extend Georgy's suggestion of How-to articles to a more participatory approach (involving course production team, tutors and students) of creating skill and knowledge repositories.
I have been thinking about what the resources might be to help students to do things. I had the idea of writing a set of "How to.." Just to try it out I have written a couple of things about image making based on some thoughts that occurred to me after our Compendium meeting. If we were to write this kind of resource as ideas occur to us it could make life easier later. What do you think?
Here is my very brief (and clumsy) attempt at using Compendium for the banana packaging assignment. After mapping the various 'issues' etc., I began listing types of potential packaging solutions - and settled on 'coiled wire'. Hey Presto! - The Banana Binda ((c)2008 NCross!). See very rough mock-up.
This is a site that works similar to electronic post-it notes. You can upload varying media and resources all to one page and rearrange notes and documents spatially. I am not sure if this tool offers a dramatically new or improved approach, but I think it would be another option to offer to students.
I came across a nice short article in a recent edition of Granta magazine by the author Douglas Coupland (Generation X). I quote:
Last spring my New York publicist asked me who my reading audience was and I blurted out, ‘Mac users.’
‘Why is that?’
‘Because Macs are used by visual thinkers.’
No, he didn’t see, because one is either a visual thinker or one is not. He was not. I’m beginning to think that being a visual thinker is like being right-handed or red-haired; it was all decided the moment the sperm hit the egg.
Nigel gave me a set of design methods cards (Meta Cards) used for the original (1972) Technology Foundation course (T100) which detail 19 different methods. Other sets of cards we've come across are: the IDEO methods cards, Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies, and Georgy's Cards.
It's a nice idea to have a bank of methods, and fits the non-linear idea we have for the course quite well. Perhaps it would be a good idea to gather as many cards and methods together as possible and see which ones might be suitable for U101. We could then work out a format (cards for students to print?) and start work...