The company I work for was established eighteen years ago, and has had tremendous success. It has gained its reputation by providing high quality education and delivering phenomenal results. I have been employed with the company for three years, however it wasn’t until I joined the MALAT program about a year ago, that I realized how much potential the company has moving forward when it comes to technology and digital learning spaces. Up until January of this year, every aspect of our teaching was done in a face-to-face environment. Even though we have faced numerous challenges making the shift to a digital learning environment due to Covid-19, this abrupt and necessary change has set us up to utilize digital aspects moving forward when we return to our physical classrooms. Before our shift to online learning, many of our teachers were digital visitors who lacked the confidence and skills to work digitally, however after being forced to teach in digital spaces, they have proven that they have the ability and willingness to embrace technological developments, therefore why should we not reap the benefits of said technology moving forward? Seelig (2013) advises us that one way to assist in finding solutions is to re-examine the questions we are asking to instill imagination when creating possible solutions. Through surveys and mini-interviews, I have been able to identify several issues within my organization that can be solved by creating a portal as a digital learning resource for both teachers and students alike, while at the same time I was able to reframe my question into researching how we can keep the digital learning wave going now that our instructors are becoming increasingly comfortable with technology.

 

As I move forward with my design, I need to maintain that I am making a tool in hopes that it will meet the needs of both teachers and students (the users) and that being said, Kouprie and Visser (2009) state that empathic design can be separated into two components; affective (having an effective response to the user), and cognitive (seeing, hearing, and understanding the user) and that by creating a balance between the two, I can achieve true empathy. Kimbell (2012) reminds us that design is an ongoing task that always has room for improvement. IDEO (2015) notes that there is an assortment of methods we can choose from when undergoing a human centered design approach, and that the value comes from listening to our users. I have kept all of these factors in mind while completing my empathy map designed by Brecher Cook and Worsham (2018) and my mini-manifesto.

 

 

 

 

References

 

Brecher Cook, D., & Worsham, D. (2018, April). Let’s Build Something! (The Toolkit). A Rapid-Prototyping Instructional Design Workshop. Retrieved from https://ucla.app.box.com/v/build-something-toolkit

 

IDEO. (2015). Design Kit – Methods. Retrieved from https://www.designkit.org/methods

 

Kimbell, L. (2012). Rethinking design thinking: Part II. Design and Culture, 4(2), 129-148. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.2752/175470812X13281948975413

 

Kouprie, M., & Sleeswijk Visser, F. (2009).  A framework for empathy in design: stepping into and out of the user’s  Journal of Engineering Design20(5), 437-448. DOI:  10.1080/09544820902875033

 

Seelig, T. (2013). How reframing a problem unlocks innovation. Fast Company.

Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/1672354/how-reframing-a-problem-unlocks-innovation