Week 3

This week, my teaching goal is to make sure students understand how to analyze a service by mapping the systems. A few mapping techniques were introduced including stakeholder, value network, and ecosystem mapping.



As always, I wanted to set the course into context before diving into the lecture. I sometimes (struggle) finding the right "warm up" exercise because they're so essential to set the tone for the class. In an attempt to help students understand the importance of keeping everyone on the same page and/or how messages get misinterpreted in the process, I decided to go for a virtual telephone game. I was inspired by the idea somewhere but couldn't recall where I saw it exactly, given how many different sites I actually looked up in my research!


I designed the telephone game so that students take turns to either draw the visualization of the messages they received privately or interpret the drawing and message the following participates so that they can draw. It's an intense session where I had to timebox students as they draw and make sure I show/hide the board... I also need to make sure I remember to message the participants privately so that eventually everyone gets on the board. Since there were quite a few awkward silence moment while students are getting onboard, I expected students would find this game a waste of time. It was however, to my surprise, many students liked the game and from rewatching the session, I could see many smiles on their faces as they finished the game :) If there's time, I'd love to do a deeper dive into this exercise and write about the benefit of it!

Here you can see students' reactions and their aha moments when the game was finished :)


Aside from the lecture, another big part of the class time was for students to get into groups and work on stakeholder mapping. I wanted to make sure students work on things are interested in, so I asked them to bring in 2 services they're interested in studying and I used the class break time to do an affinity mapping based on the theme. After students came back from break, I then placed them into breakout rooms so they can work in pairs. Many students love this part of the class because they get to interact with their classmates. I want to design more sessions like this so that they can meet with theirs and have some fun together!



As I visited different breakout rooms, I must say I was very proud of all of their works. They all developed a map that's unique to their services and they were able to articulate their stories very well. I feel thankful to have MURAL as a tool so that we could have fun exercise together and share out session among the class!



To end the class, I always go through plans for the upcoming class as well as introducing new projects. At the end of the class, we gathered and did a retro. This gave me an opportunity to hear everyone's voice, especially I know not everyone is comfortable speaking up in class. I also repeatedly noticed a couple of things students repeatedly mentioning since Class 1.

  • Students want to have more engagement with their classmates

  • Students want to have more share out and Q&A sessions

  • Students also want to have more breaks

  • Students want to hear more examples

Most of the things I would really love to cover, such as examples. But I also realized our time is so limited; hence, I encouraged them to attend Meetup, industry events, and join student clubs, so that they can have an opportunity to learn/hear practical use cases beyond the classroom! Regarding more discussions, I do take pauses and ask students to speak but students rarely speak up during those times. Some suggested that maybe I use Polling or the Raise Hand function. I will try that next class to see if it's better engagement.

One more thing before I wrap for Week 3 learning ... I was hoping to have 2 activities in class so that students can try Stakeholder mapping and User Journey but my plan was too ambitious! Thankfully the following class, we're going to do Blueprints which is essentially a more advance version of Journey mapping, so we could use the class time to practice the mapping. And I also decided to give students sometime to work on their project in class, so that it's easier for them to coordinate their timing. I hope they all get a good head start instead of waiting till class time to begin the project.


One tip: rewatch your own lectures so that you know how your students respond to your talking points. It's hard to see them when you're teaching virtually! It's gonna take some time but will definitely help you with your following course planning!

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