This is the last class before students have to pitch their new services. Initially I was going to give them this entire class as their studio time but Makerspace happened to be hosting a storytelling workshop featuring speaker from the pre-class podcast I assigned. I had students vote on whether to attend the workshop as a class or keep it as a studio time. The result was tight but the majority was to go to the storytelling workshop; hence, we went to the workshop together as a class (yay for another field trip!).
Since the workshop didn't start until 5pm, we were able to meet in our class first and I made sure I went over all the housekeeping for upcoming due dates, class flow for the pitch day, and what to expect for finals and peer reviews. I sometimes wonder if students find it annoying as I have been repeatedly telling them the same thing but I also remember what it's like to be a student ... so I decided to remind them again because I still get emails asking me the same questions after class from time to time ;)
As we headed over to the workshop together, it really felt like another virtual field trip. Something I've noticed about this class is that everyone is pretty punctual, so it helps not only with my own lecture time but certainly it was helpful for the workshop facilitators. I also liked how students mentioned it's a virtual field trip without me saying it in the chat. I guess by thinking it's a virtual field trip, it makes the perceived experience more interesting overall which I'm very glad this is how my students think of the workshop.
The storytelling workshop is conducted by Lee-Sean who is a human-centered designer that I've met many years ago while I was a student. In fact, I took his storytelling workshop when I was a student, so I was excited to have my students experience the workshop "in-person" instead of just hearing from the podcast with Lee-Sean. For me, it was also a good refresher on the techniques he uses — the 6-word story. It's almost like re-reading a book you've read or re-watching a movie you've seen years ago. This time around, I noticed different things and was able to pick up some metaphors he used before ... but this time around, I have a much better idea where I'd apply them!
During the workshop, students were also put into breakout rooms with other participants. While I contemplated to join the breakout room or not, I decided to just be any of the participate and I happened to be in the same breakout room with 2 of my students. At first, I thought they'd feel awkward, so I made sure to let them know to relax cuz I'm also here to learn just like them. It turned out well. We had great conversation and I enjoyed the experience very much because I got to learn about my students at much deeper personal level as they shared about their story draft in the group discussion. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did!
The downside of having a virtual field trip is that we couldn't have a debrief session before the class is dismissed. I thought about asking students to rejoin our class zoom but I didn't want to interrupt their flow of working as a team after the workshop, so I told them to open their own personal zoom and meet with their teammates to continue their studio time for the remaining of the class time. If I were to do this again in the future, I need to brainstorm a better way to debrief ... perhaps for future class, I'd create a slack channel, so that I can message my students and have a constant flow of communication beyond our class zoom chat!