Tutorial 5   Start the Habit of Testing & Iterating

In the sequence of tutorials we are just going to pause here to establish the habit of deliberately testing your ideas against the perspectives of your user personas.

You can do this quite rapidly, but it requires a particular sense of intent and a mental "letting go" of the ideas you have invested in so far.

The danger is that you have started designing for yourself, selecting ideas and structures that engage you. This is commendable, to be sure, because an energised teacher is a must have! However, will your ideas work for your students and/or their parents, or others?

So, pause for a moment! As a team, move over the Person cards from the People board. Ensure their names are on the card and on the Person board so you can return them later. 

Place the cards along the top of the Storyboard as shown. In a team, you might like to have one team member role play being the person while the others ask investigative questions. 

A helpful scaffold is to ask: what would this person think, say, and do, when they encounter this space, idea, or experience that we have planned? 


What to do with what you discover?

You might need to fundamentally change your design. This is very normal occurrence in a good design process and is part of the journey to creating units, lessons, and/or spaces that work for everyone.

Alternatively, you might be able to personalise the journey you already have so that it works for everyone. In the next tutorial you will meet the Checkpoint, Guru, Matrix, and Passion cards. For the moment, use your new insights about student needs to feed into that tutorial.



In this example we actually approached the students to get their feedback on our ideas.

This is taken from the real design of a Year 8 French Project-Based Learning Unit (case study here). The program had to cater for 160 different students. The "Mountain Top" was going to consist of a storybook written in French, gifted to a Kindy child from our school for Christmas.

Before we built the unit properly, we tested the idea with students, and discovered that this Mountain Top was only going to engage about 60/% of the students. We used this insight to create a "Matrix" of Mountain Top alternatives, all involving a story written in French, and had a much better design as a result.