From personal, focused design experience recognise the advantages and frustrations of developing a design proposal in co-operation with others.
Design context (presented here in words but would be much more appropriate as a video clip demonstrating the problem area)
Some medication pills prescribed for animals and children are the same as those prescribed for adults. Where non-adults are concerned the drug strength is too strong and so the pills need to be split / divided to obtain the correct dosage. This is awkward and inaccurate to do using normal domestic equipment (knives etc). Design a device which will perform the task of dividing pills so that required drug strengths can be administered.
Design a possible device using paper and card modelling only. This model should represent your first thoughts in response to the problem.
Take a couple of digital photo’s of your model and share with two other members of your tutor group along with notes indicating thoughts about your satisfactions or otherwise with your possible solution. Ask your fellow students what they think of your proposal, how they would improve it and overcome your dissatisfactions.
From the ‘conversations’ that take place develop one solution from your group of three.
Once a final proposal is developed think about your experience and make notes about: what gave you satisfaction and why, what caused you irritation / frustration and why. Finally, compare the group proposal to your initial model and consider which is likely to be more effective and why.
Organisation of the activity
The group tutor would need to be centrally involved in establishing the groups of three and monitoring (moderating?) the development of the activity. Hence the activity could take the guise of an on-line tutorial.
Students need access to a digital camera and be capable of uploading images to their FirstClass tutor group forum. Is this reasonable?
The learning outcomes of the activity would need to link with and be extended in the rest of Block 2 so that they are reinforced and exploited. Is this feasible?
A T307 student has just posted me this link to a "show and tell' site where people are showing each other things they have made using stuff from around the house. I like it because it shows how you can use things you may never have thought of in ways that you you might not expect. I also think it is a good example of how students might possibly share things they have made with one another.
I found a report by the Design Council entitled "Lessons from Europe" that points out the importance of multidisciplinary team work in design education.
The report highlights many design thinking qualities that we identified:
"In terms of key competencies it was felt team members need to have strong communications skills and an appreciation of the role of other disciplines in the innovation process. Most felt it was also important to approach problems from the user's perspective and to have a high tolerance for ambiguity. An ability to be entrepreneurial was also seen as a key attribute. In terms of personal characteristics, openness, empathy, passion and respect for others were all mentioned. The concept of 'paternity' was also used to describe the ability to co-create an idea and then let it go." (p. 5)