Personal Honours Project - Insights, Questions and Concepts (2)

The next step in my concept generation process was to create questions from my insight statements. For example, woman want a private space in which to enter and exit the toilet could turn into the question how might we create a private zone for women before they full exit the toilet?

Using this method would hopefully help me generate ideas that could be bundled together and feed into my final concept:

  • We need to find new ways to encourage people to learn, question and create.

What kind of technology can we use to do this?

Through out this project, I have always been interested in working with smartphone apps for my final project, and once again I think the answer to this question would be to use smartphones. This is an easily accessible device that I think would be a more than appropriate platform for providing an alternative way of interacting with information.

  • We can adapt search to become the primary method of asking questions.

How will I use search differently? Can search be used to connect users?

Rather than connect users to information, I think it would be interesting to connect users that have asked the same or similar questions, to encourage conversation on the platform. This would create the social element of the experience I am trying to achieve while using search in a more unconventional way. Connecting users to the information they seek is important but part of the experience should be to meet people they wouldn't expect to meet.

I will also possibly use search as the starting point for the experience. Like a jumping off point, the user will search for their question and be taken to the relevant information before exploring deeper into the topic as much as they'd like.

  • We need to make users more aware of their learning.

What sort of approach do I take? The loud approach or the subtle approach?

Ultimately I would love people to have the realisation of how much they've learnt themselves, without constantly bombarding them with hints and prompts that reminds them "look, you've learnt this!". I think a subtle approach would be beneficial in this case - originally I was interested in incorporating some sort of gamification system to my app but I feel this is too loud. As David Hill mentioned at Guru's Day earlier this month, gamification can become a chore if it you have to constantly interact with it and you want people to remember your app for the functionality as opposed to the game aspect.

  • Social Constructionism supports the development of individual and community.

Would this method be useful to utilise?

This raises the question of whether or not the focus of the app is on the user's personal learning experience or the learning experience of the community as a whole. The personal experience should be the focus of the app but with a strong emphasis on the social aspect of the experience.

However at my tutorial with Chris and Andrea this week, they encouraged me to not ignore the community aspect and try and strike a balance between the two.

  • Communities need to invite interactions that make them alive.

What sort of interactions can I use to achieve this?

  • The best interactions occur when people partake in shared activity.

How can I encourage users to communicate with one another to encourage these interactions?

These questions fed into each other a lot and the main form of interaction I think will be utilising will be conversation between users and designing a platform where conversation between users is possible and encouraged. 

After speaking with Chris and Andrea at my tutorial, they gave me a list of things to look into before concept presentations.

Andrea told me to look at self-assessment learning as that would be important as part of the project for gauging how well people have learnt. I had was told to research programmes such as the EU Lifelong Learning and Erasmus + that all focus on learning. He also said that I should draw inspiration for FutureLearn as recommended by Nick Taylor at Guru's Day.

Chris was more interested in me looking at how the values of constructionism are applied to real life examples and that I should look into how intergenerational activities are run at places like the DCA.

Overall it was successful tutorial - it just gave me more to think about and research before the impending concept presentations. I would definitely need to research everything that I could from my desk before the presentations and perhaps to arrange to actually get out into the field the weeks after the presentation to continue my research and give me more insights for taking into the new year.