Refuse to Go Backward: 3 Steps for Human-Centered Design (plus a few baby steps)
by Third Eye Education, consolidated by Nick Truxal
Third Eye Education’s Core Collaborator’s February discussions have been rotating around “Human-Centered Design.” It’s been a blended conversation: covering the threads of voice, disparity, equity, practices of application, training, and onward. The following is our attempt at a concise representation of these discussions.
First, if you are new to the ideas of Human-Centered Design (HCD)…
To return to the dangling click bait of an introductory quote, we do have a chance to establish new normals as we emerge from the pandemic. For example, Rochester Public Schools in Rochester, Minnesota is exploring establishing a Design Team: a group with diverse viewpoints and skill sets designated to solve problems from the large to the small in innovative ways. In exploring this idea with the Third Eye Collaborative, John Alberts pointed out the obvious: “We were attempting to solve the problem of how this team might function with traditional tools, while the team itself would be functioning through the lens of HCD.” This idea can apply to this article, and to Third Eye Education, as well. Why discuss Human-Centered design when we can apply it?
The Rules of the Room
The Third Eye
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My concept of storylining blends the phenomena-based storylining that science curriculums are moving towards (Illinois example), with the Montessori principles of a three-period lesson, the Visible Learning work of learning intentions and success criteria, and student inquiry-based, place-based, and experiential learning. I taught four sessions to interested teachers in our district this summer. Our teachers are using this as a tool for human-centered design in learning. All students have a voice in the storyline as they explore their interests and perspectives with success criteria.
Storylining Folder with Professional Development Links and Step-by-Step Guidance
In our meeting, I recommended not thinking about just having one design team, but setting up a system where educational stakeholders rotate in and out of the design lab. Then, by using storylining as a tool the different stakeholders map the Ideate, Iterate, and Implement steps of Human-Centered Design in a way that tells a story of growth, voice and equity. Here is an example of how we are starting to track our story and growth. This is the skeleton of what we are building:
Experience Mapping - Coaching and Transformational Documentation Tool
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For the Iteration portion, we’ll share a tool that has been used with great success for improving specific lessons, but can be used on a systematic basis as well. Dover-Eyota Public Schools has been piloting it’s use for structured professional development communities for the last year.
Identify a specific, actionable “teaching problem.” Use the above Ideation process, or others, to choose the problem.
Design a lesson around a hypothetical fix with your instructional coach or with your team.
One teacher in your group teaches the hypothetical lesson; others come to observe...
Come back together with the entire team to make tweaks and improvements.
Then, repeat steps 2-4 as needed. This is the true definition of iteration.
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In January, Third Eye’s Core Collaborators explored the challenges of implementation. We’re still learning in this area, but consider checking out our initial thoughts in Five Steps for Successful Change: What We’re Trying to (Hopefully) Make Lasting Change.
The TLDR Takeaway
One of our Third Eye collaborators captured the crux of the issue this way: “Let’s not return to normal, because we all know it was terrible.”
Third Eye Education is a cohort of midwestern educational leaders seeking and sharing insight from educators, districts, & learner-focused communities.
Nick Truxal is the Teaching & Learning Director for Dover-Eyota Schools and the bass player for a number of Minnesota-based bands.
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Third Eye Education posts weekly articles focusing on education and innovation.