We are now in week 5 the Careers and Design interdisciplinary project. This is the Evaluation stage of the Design Cycle where the infographics are finalised in Adobe Illustrator, exhibited and then assessed against the design specifications students established in the Investigation stage.

The level of product sophistication this year is simply mind blowing. Particularly so from students whom have just joined the school and therefore possess a limited foundation of design knowledge and skills.

Feedback Loops

Throughout this project I have built in feedback activities to help students with their communicate their ideas, reflect on progress and refine their craft. In addition to verbally sharing with different genders and people in the class, the students and I continue to find tremendous value in the use of the forum activity in Moodle.

This week we used a forum for feedback on a draft of the design created in Adobe Illustrator and I was very pleased with the constructive comments students were giving each other. We used the follow leading sentences, adopted from the Stanford School of Design to guide the posting;

I Like…
I Wish…
What If…

Interestingly, it was not until the third iteration of this process did student stop asking for clarification of how to complete the ‘What If…’ statement. This leads me to conclude many now comprehend how to provide feedback that isn’t always welcome, yet necessary for helping someone go further.

Show and Tell

Adobe Illustrator is a powerful industry-standard design tool with a rich feature set. Despite the wealth of tutorials online, I did a screen cast of a specific technique that students will need to use to successfully print the document. This process also helped me refine my own technique as well as communication skills. Inspired by my colleague Kirk Kahu, we also provided opportunities for all students to share what they knew how to do and still needed to know. This let us celebrate what students have mastered and also model for them social problem-solving.

In the next and final post of this series, you’ll get to see some student samples and final reflections of the process.

CC Image by Flickr user stewartbaird