Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Changing the Focus

My Level 1 Design and Visual Communication class have recently started their last project. They get to design a mobile phone. The standard that this is geared towards is AS91068 - Undertake development of design ideas through graphics practice.
As the focus of this standard is the development part of the design project, I have decided that the research and brief development can be done as a group, using Google Plus Communities and GAFE products. How they would normally approach this would be the standard way of everyone doing their own research and brief development with no input from each other. I want to see what will happen of I change the focus this year so the students get the experience f working on a project together and producing their own individual elements to be assessed.

We talked as a whole class about how many different types of mobile phone there are and then I split the class in to groups. One group was in charge of finding images of different types of mobile phones and uploading these images onto the class Google Plus Community for everyone to share. The whole class then had to go onto the community and make comments on / analyse these designs based on :-

  • How easy do you think the design is to use?
  • What kind of things can you do with this type of phone?
  • What do you think the weakest part of the design is?
  • Do you think the phone is aimed at a range of ages / people or do you think it is aimed at specific type of person?
  • What kind of materials do you think are used in the design?
  • What makes the design stand out from the rest on the shelf in the phone shop?

The other group was in charge of producing the Google Form questionnaire to send to their client. We had already done a whole class activity where we all fed into one Google doc with ideas for questions to ask their client. A wide variety of useful and not so useful ideas came out.
As you can see from the revision history, we had a good whole class input into this.

The questionnaire team had to decide which questions were important and present them in the form of a Google Form to send to the client. They are lucky enough to be working with Pip who works at Telecom to be their client. This is a new experience for them to work with someone else and someone else's design needs and expectations. I don't normally introduce design students to this way of working with someone else until they are at Level 2 or 3, so we are going to be using the Google Plus community to communicate and share with our client a lot as they are used to using this.

Here is the questionnaire that was sent to their client. We decided to send one from the whole class instead of lots from individuals asking similar / the same questions.

The class have all been making 3D plasticine models based on the description "comfortable shape". They had to focus on that and not worry about the fact that we are designing phones just yet. Photographs were taken as they made each one. Link to the album here. We sat all together and looked at the photographs on the board / projector and decided as a group which were the most important points that came out from all of the shapes that they made. This small list will then be included in the specification list :-
  • simple, curves, rectangular proportion, size in the hand, grip
It has been a new way to work for this project this year. I have done it this way so that their individual focus and time is going to be spent on where the credits are aimed, which is the development of the designs and they can work together on the elements that are not going to be assessed.

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