Personal Honours Project - First Advisor Meetings

After a quick holiday and feeling refreshed and recharged, I found out that my advisor for my project would be Dr. Andrea Alessandrini who I was excited to work with.

Deciding to hit the ground running by planning ahead, I had my first tutorial with him on Monday the 25th of January. The main issue we had to discuss from my presentation feedback last semester was narrowing down what my representative content would be for my app - I would be able to craft an experience but without any content to interact with the app would ultimately be useless. 

In terms of representative content, I had hit a total wall and was struggling to nail down what exactly my content should be - I was very keen to try and design a service or experience that could allow you to learn anything you wanted, but for the sake of the project I knew I would not be able to achieve this to a high standard given the timescales for the prototypes. I'd had some ideas about what I could potentially explore during the holidays but I was very anxious about my project becoming "pigeon holed" and that I would become "the x project" as opposed to the "the learning project" which I was much more interested in being known for. I knew I would have to bite the bullet though and choose a focus.

In my first meeting with Andrea, we brainstormed potentially interesting topics to focus on for the duration of the project. I mentioned that I'd considered teaching coding as potential content and Andrea really took to this idea, as it fit with his area of interest and research. Since my project was focussed on creating digital learning experiences for informal learning, we expanded this idea to have a focus on new ways of teaching adults to code who have had no formal education (i.e. no prior study of Computing in schools/university). 

The main question Andrea asked me to consider is how would you break coding down to then teach beginners? Could a puzzle element be introduced or some sort game to make it easier? Andrea gave me the prototyping tool Little Bits to play with, which is a way of teaching children how to make circuits without the need to programme them. Each piece can snap together and when powered can create circuits similar to those of basic Arduino circuits i.e. led, buzzers etc. This would be something to consider when I was sketching my ideas.

Before that stage however Andrea said that I should spend this week working on narrowing down my target audience and creating personas based on this audience to meet a variety of user's needs.