Design Thinking in Classroom
Industry: K-12 Education
Client: K-12 Lab Network @ Stanford d.school, Stanford CA
K12 Lab Network is a catalyst for the national movement to bring design thinking into schools and to help communities think beyond current school models.
Project Challenge & Goals
K-12 Lab Network was interested in exploring “How educators interact with the digital ecosystem of Design Thinking, in particular, the K-12 Lab website and resources”.
The K-12 Lab Network managed logistical support and arranged educators for usability testing session. I conducted empathy interviews, preliminary research, resource (product) evaluation, and then co-led a 1-day web-testing session with educators, to better inform resource content creation and resource placement on the website.
Empathy interviews, resource analysis, and product testing were conducted in order to understand the context. Educators were classified as, "super users" or “new users” of design thinking framework. The educators, invited for the web testing sessions, were current teachers taught at public, charter and private schools. The key observations, emotions, and quotes from the educators were noted, grouped and pulled out for further synthesis.
Experience Design was used to create an experience for the educators to go through during the web-testing session. A series of instructions & steps were provided to the educators to follow, while I was observing their working style, behavior, interactions, etc. The educators were asked to prepare a lesson plan for a topic they would like to cover during their next class. The challenge was to incorporate design thinking as part of the lesson plan. Furthermore, we conducted a usability test to better understand how K-12 Lab Network’s website is used effectively by educators.
During the synthesis phase insights were crafted from the themes that were identified. There were a number of possible solutions that we could have pursued. We decided to prototype a resource style guide which would consist of exemplary and non-exemplary resource guide and d.school website design principles.
Educators understand the value project-based learning (PBL) and design thinking (DT) offers, yet “new users” do not have the administrative support (or time) to implement new models, such as PBL or DT, to improve students learning outcomes. Additionally, “super users” of design thinking require resources to support teachers interested in implementing design thinking curriculum.
"The next generation standards for science and common core have to be implemented, but there is just not enough time to plan on how to make the transition to the new standards."
"In order to test a new model (Design Thinking), it would be nice to see unit templates. How Design Thinking can be implemented in teaching certain units."
The observations and insights were mapped out in 3 categories:
The web interface of resource pages for our users and how resources relate to the program page structure.
Content needs for production (what content do teachers want and need?)
Usability needs (how are resources used by teachers?)
A K-12 Lab Network website style guide was created to address:
How a resource should live on the website.
What style parameters to use for the resource page on the K-12 Lab Network website.
How a “new” resource should be formatted for the audience prior to publishing on the web.
K-12 Lab Network is now well aware of the design thinking resource needs of “super users” and “new users”. This informs the designers to create content that is easily adoptable by teachers in their classrooms.
The Network website style guide provides designers information on how to create and build resources to better serve their audience consistently.
Furthermore, this project was able to shed light on K-12 Lab web-design principles, alongside providing a sample of “exemplary resources”.
I alongside Ariel Raz, an experience Experience Designer, co-led educators through the web-testing session to explore this challenge. Furthermore, I was responsible for conducting empathy interview, synthesizing the learning from interviews, and drafting the resource style guide