As the class starts getting into rhythm, students know what to expect when coming into class (most of the time). I tend to lecture for an hour-ish, then break into groups to do some practical exercises, then we'd wrap up with some share-outs and retrospective at the end.
To keep each session refreshing and energized, I try to come up with different "surprises" for students to do in the beginning of the class. In this class period, I gave students time to work in groups for their Service Analysis project. Since students are in different locations and timezones, I want to make sure I give them time to meet in class to work together and ask me questions they may have. This model turned out to be very successful and students all enjoyed it very much!
I am very fortunate! The energy level of the class is usually pretty good. I rarely had trouble getting students' attention (thankfully). It is however, I was once told by a seasoned educator I interviewed as I was doing class prep that ... Week 4 is usually when students question themselves why they're taking this class or very often ... they hate their groups if they're working on group projects. Since students officially started their first group project, I decided to do a temperature check. In addition, I've been wanting to have more engagement on reading reflection / discussion, I then used this opportunity to have students put down their 2 takeaways then randomly assigned them into groups to share their learnings with their classmates. As their breakout session ended, they came back, then shared their conversations from the room.
To my surprise (which I later learned in their retrospective), they loved this exercise. I think whenever they have a chance to engage with their classmates, they feel energized! I am also quite "proud" to read through their post-its because they actually did the readings :)
In the previous session, students suggested more engaging discussion time. Two ideas came up — 1) Using the Hand Raise function and 2) Using more Polling questions. I kept those in mind but since I couldn't find content that's relevant for Polling in this particular class session. I decided to have a quick "reflection" session after I covered Participatory Design. As I explained how participatory design is practiced, I asked students to reflect on a time when they weren't included in a decision making process. When they came back to share out, I was again very pleased to learn that they're digesting the materials. Some examples were shared include parent-child relationship, invisible/visible hierarchy in our surroundings / community, and ultimately the current remote learning situation where students found that schools didn't take their needs into consideration. They'd wish they could participate more in the process as schools decide to move classes online during the pandemic! Perhaps it's time for us to do a workshop to co-create the entire remote learning experience :)
Class 4 is an extension of Class 3 materials where we combine their knowledge of Stakeholder Map and Journey Map to Blueprint! My teaching philosophy has always been ... helping students connect the dots by using examples that are current and relevant to their surroundings. During the first class, I used "purchasing coffee" as an example but soon learned that NOT everyone drinks coffee (or tea). As a result, when I designed the Service Blueprint exercise here, I made sure I picked a topic that everyone in the class (for sure) has experienced it first hand. The example I used is "taking an elective course". I had students put down their process one swim lane at a time. I moderated as we went and eventually walked through the rest of the Blueprints with front stage and back stage that complete the picture.
One benefit of having students work on their group projects in class is that I can go around and see if they have any questions. I then shared all of their collective questions before we wrapped up the class. It is my experience that, sometimes, you might not even know you have a question until you hear the answers. By doing so, I saw some students had an aha moments as I shared answers of other groups' questions. Now I can't wait to see their presentation next week!
Having retrospective together at the end of the class is certainly helpful. I loved seeing what stick with students and what not. Some in-class examples I thought students would love but turned out to be not as essential as the others. It gives me ways to improve and curate better content when I teach this topic again next time.