In reflecting on my journey so far through LRNT527, I have found the course to be reaffirming of my values around design, as well as helping me to better navigate and reframe my approach to the design thinking process as I develop a Digital Learning Resource (DLR). I found this class to be reaffirming because throughout my career, when involved in or leading a project, I have always tried to seek out perspectives from colleagues and other peers to add to my own. More so, if the product of the project had users, I would always try to involve some of the potential users to get their feedback. I find this type of consultation helpful, as it allows for a design to be more robust and effective. Reflective thinking provides the opportunity to look back at past experiences and joining them with new experiences to create new learning and justifying actions (OpenLearn, n.d.). I started to learn about user centered design within LRNT524 in a more formalized way, which enhanced my perspective with research and academic evidence. LRNT527 has further provided me with a better understanding of user centred design thinking process and given me the vocabulary to explain the ‘why’ of the approach I take to design.
The activities in LRN527 allowed me to follow a defined structure for a design thinking process, which pushed me to intentionally consider every step along the way. By focusing on each phase of the process, it has allowed me to feel more comfortable modifying, reframing and seeing the various way in which I can approach a problem. Kolb & Kolb (2017) talk about how reflecting on learning experiences leads to transformational learning, affecting how the participants sees the subject matter and how they engage in moving forward. I believe this is what is happening for me in creating the Digital Learning Resource. When I reflect on the DLR, I have had to pivot a few times. Though the objective in creating the resource was to solve a problem of practice in my work context, at some points, I felt that the assignment was diverging from the needs at work. I had to reframe my scope and cycle back to my users for more information, to make sure what I was doing served both purposes. However, during this pivoting, I felt that I had a clear process. For example, understanding that this process was a cycle and not a linear path has been valuable learning for me that I can apply to many work project contexts. Having an understanding of design thinking has given me the means to not be frustrated when I hit a roadblock, but rather to understand that these bumps are part of an iterative design process. As I move along further in the design process of my DLR, I feel that the resource is ultimately something tangible that can support my colleagues in their own professional practice, while also having been a learning opportunity for me in its creation.
Kolb, A. Y., Kolb, D., A. (2017). Experiential learning theory as a guide for experiential educators in higher education. ELTHE: A Journal for Engaged Educators, 1(1), 7–44. Retrieved from https://learningfromexperience.com/research-library/experiential-learning-theory-guide-for-higher-education-educators/
OpenLearn. (n.d.). Succeeding in post-graduate study: Session 2 – reflective thinking, reflective learning and academic writing. Retrieved from https://www.open.edu/openlearn/ocw/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=51386§ion=2