When I started the process of going through my readings and notes, I will admit that I felt as though I was in a bit of an abyss.  I tried to figure out a problem of practice that was a real-world dilemma to my organization (Ma, Fitchman, Adams and Kennedy (2018).  Based on my knowledge and previous conversations with others, I thought our need was resiliency due to the day to day demands and COVID19.  Much to my surprise, once I completed the interviews with managers, I realized that their concern was related to feeling connected with others. All three interviewees discussed the lack of connections and communication between peers, management and staff. Working in this new world that encompasses online meetings, emails, conference calls while not seeing, touching, and truly being able to read the body language of others they described as actually more difficult than face to face conversations. I redefined my problem of practice – Connecting with others.  Next, I had to figure out my manifesto.

What is a manifesto?  I reviewed the video of the professor who taught Entomophagy (eating crickets) to students. Brilliant!!  The students will never forget what happened that day as they ate crickets or how they felt watching others eat crickets. That is active learning.  I imagine that his manifesto is related to active learning in the classroom. Once I reviewed the WI+RE Way: a manifesto and a process for learner-led design, I realized that the manifesto is related to my core values and beliefs as it relates to designing learning for others and ensuring an ‘inclusive, transformative and learner centered pedagogy’ (p. 3).  It occurred to me that I have to be true to my core values as I am happiest with my work when I live and follow my values. I identified the following as my mini-manifesto:

  1. Iteration not Perfection: Give myself the time to iterate and think outside the box, each revision will create additional ideas that can be applied; learn from feedback and collaboration with others
  2. Makin’ it Real SMART : Use Storytelling that provides examples that are relevant to the participants world keeping in mind the SMART ideology :
    • Specific to participants world
    • Meaningful to the participant
    • Action Orientated to provide examples
    • Relevant to their situations and circumstances
    • Timely insofar as it has happened in the last three to five years rather than 20 years ago
  3. Construct with Universal Design Principles: Learning should be accessible and useable for all levels of participants
  4. Social Constructivist Approach: Provide active learning opportunities that afford opportunities to co-create learning and positively impact participants (Inspire and Motivate Participants into Action through Collaboration and Teamwork)
  5. Allow myself a culture of anything goes – just try it: Overthinking suspends creative thinking

Now on to my Empathy Map.  In fairness, that was more difficult than I expected.  I know I overthink, so the fact that the instructions suggested it could be completed in five minutes led me to believe – that was the case for some, but not for me. The Empathy Map ensured that I thought and more importantly wrote down information about the users, their context, the goals together with breakthroughs.  I decided to define breakthrough as the ‘moment of understanding’ where I could see the learner ‘buy-in’ to the learning.  I did that last because I wanted to envision what would that look like to me.

Empathy Map

I look forward to your comments, questions and suggestions on how to move forward or to question my thinking.




Harper, T., Mody, N., Romero, R., & Worsham, D. (n.d.). The WI+RE Way : a manifesto and a process for learner-led design. Journal of New Librarianship, 5(2020), 1–24. https://www.newlibs.org/article/11757-the-wi-re-way-a-manifesto-and-a-process-for-learner-led-design

Ma, V., Dana, N., Adams, A., & Kennedy, B. (2018). Understanding the Problem of Practice: An Analysis of Professional Practice EdD Dissertations. Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 3(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.5195/ie.2018.50