Upon completing my prototype and testing the digital learning resource, I felt a great sense of satisfaction that I had created something that could potentially be useful for both students and staff. The design thinking process allowed me to get into the mind of the user and create from their perspective. I am still surprised by what you can learn by just speaking with students and learning basically how they learn. The way people learn has been changing for thousands of years. Bates (2015) describes how the earliest form of teaching took the form of oral communication which evolved to written communication and eventually audio and video. All these forms are still used today, but newer technologies are appearing in classrooms. Social media is just one example of a new form. It should not have come as a surprise to me that many of the learners in my target audience were using their smartphones to access course content, but without initiating interviews, I would never have found this out.
My digital learning resource, instructional videos for introducing D2L (the learning management system at my school board) was evaluated as clear and being appropriate for the target audience. I am very happy with this assessment as during the IDEATE phase, I noted that in using the SECTIONS model (Bates, 2015) students would be the most important element of consideration. I took care in making sure that the speed of the video would not be too quick, language not too complicated, and not covering too many topics to be unnecessarily long due to cognitive concerns.
Of course there are also many areas for improvement. Accessibility in the form of captions was on my radar to begin with, but definitely something that was pointed out and should be incorporated. An interactive element was also suggested to allow the learner to try out what they just viewed; a split screen was suggested or some form of an application quiz. If I can get these elements incorporated, then it be something I would definitely like to test out.
Design thinking has now been explored in a couple of courses, but it is always nice to be able to try out a method in a real world working example. User considerations will definitely be at the forefront of any project that I am working on and design thinking with be a method that I will gladly share with peers. Thank you to all those who provided feedback on my resource. Your comments are greatly appreciated and will definitely inform my next iteration.
Bates, A. W. (2015). Chapters 6-8. In Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. Vancouver BC: Tony Bates Associates Ltd.