Campfire Stories: Approaches for (Design Thinking) Impactful Change
Concurrent Session 8
Affected by challenges at your institution? Join us, for a discussion about real-world problems solved collaboratively with synchronous discussions and asynchronous work using online and open source technology tools.
Popularized by Rittel and Webber (1973), the concept of the “wicked problem” encompasses challenges that require iterative and often collaborative work to tackle and solve. As we work to address the needs of our online students within the rapidly changing landscape of higher education, many of the obstacles that we face include elements of the unknown that are illuminated through the sharing of practice. The sharing of trials, lessons learned and effective practices through storytelling can serve as an impactful tool for connecting smaller pieces to the larger puzzle of a wicked problem. Inspired by Studs Terkel’s (1974) declaration of our hunger for stories as humans, this session seeks to weave together the power of storytelling, design thinking, and active collaboration to chip away at three key challenges - aligning technology to pedagogy, universal design, and equity in access.
The presenters, all editors for the Teacher Education board of MERLOT, will lead this session as a lively and interactive conversation, similar to their bi-weekly editorial board meetings. In these meetings, real-world problems are solved collaboratively with synchronous discussions in Zoom and asynchronous work over a wide-variety of online, open source technology tools. The session will consist of a brief introduction of how the presenters have been affected by each of the following challenges at their institutions, followed by an engaged discussion and report from each group:
How can we help bridge the gap between emerging technology and the need to root all innovation in pedagogy?
How can we use empathy to drive our decision making process, particularly in our commitment to support learners with a wide variety of needs and skills?
How can we make sure that all of our learners benefit from our interventions and innovations?
The discussion prompts are inspired by Chen’s (2010) call to consider the overall landscape of learning and also align with some of the presenters’ favorite activities within the design thinking framework. The session will include ample time to share the new approaches and ideas that were generated by the participants in their small group discussions. In conclusion, each of the three questions and subsequent discussions will be paired with a unique resource, effective practice, and takeaway that will leave participants with a tangible approach to tackling similar wicked challenges at their home institutions.
Modelling their work curating and sharing emerging technology tools for MERLOT, the presenters will also include some of their current favorite technology - Adobe Spark, Vizia, and last year’s MERLOT Classics Award Winner, Accessible Syllabus.
Chen, M. (2010). Education nation: Six leading edges of innovation in schools. Learning International Networks Consortium (LINC) MIT, Cambridge, MA: Jossey-Bass.
Rittel and Webber. (1973). Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences 4(2), pp. 155-169.
Terkel, S. (1974). Working: People talk about what they do all day and how they feel about what they do. NY: Pantheon/Random House.