Sunday, November 29, 2015

Using SOLO Taxonomy to help to structure Design Development

When doing design work with students, I find the most difficult thing to get over to them is the design development stage. They all want to do one design idea and rush on to the final thing. They have trouble understanding the point of doing more design work and working through a process.

To help with this, I have started looking at how I can use SOLO to structure the process of design development.
Earlier this year, I made this questions sheet to refer to when helping students analyse their research work. I thought that this could also be the starting point to make the steps through design development.

Here is my first thoughts on how this could be put together :-

Unistructural - they identify the main features of existing products that are similar to what they are thinking about designing.
Multistructural - they combine elements of what they have researched and list / label / describe the main design elements they have included.
Relational - analyse what they have drawn already in terms of shape and add design elements. These decisions are analysed and explained.
Extended abstract - further development drawing fulling successful elements together. Analysis explaining next steps.

Here is the support work I put together for this and I have tried it out on my Year 10 group.

Here is a copy of work produced by a Year 10 student based on this structure.
I realise that he used my example as a direct template but if it gives a starting point to build on then that is good.
Next steps ...
I need to get students to be more comfortable with trying things out, experimenting and failing. This now needs building into the steps so it is clear that this is part of the whole process and can add positive results. Students are still scared of failing and still try to hide the work they see as "wrong". 
Design is a process of trial, error, try again.
I am really liking how SOLO is helping me build something that will support the students not only in the process they must work through, but in giving them access to the higher levels of achievement in Design and Visual Communication.
Definitely a work in progress......

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Visible Learning

I have had all of my planning online in the form of Google sites for a few years now. The students access the sites to get instructions, links, resources etc about the projects we are working on.
Link to class site here.
As a department, we have been working on making the Technology Achievement Objectives more accessible and understandable for the Y7-Y10 students.  We have worked on Level 1 to level 5 so we can show a clear pathway from our intermediates who come in for their Technology lessons through to our Year 9 and 10 students at the college.
This has been a really useful exercise for me as it made it really clear where the gaps are in my planning and make sure all the curriculum requirements are covered over a project.

As a school, we are moving towards "Visible Learning", where it is made really clear for the students why they are doing activities and what they are linked to.

Here is the sheet for the Year 10 product design project
Link here for the doc...

Achievement Objectives for Year 10 Mobile Phone Project - DVC
Level 5

Achievement Objectives
Learning Activity
Brief Development
Justify the nature of an intended outcome in relation to the need or opportunity. Describe specifications that reflect key stakeholder feedback and that will inform the development of an outcome and its evaluation.
  1. use a writing frame to justify a conceptual statement that includes what, who, where, when, why, and how
  2. identify the need or opportunity based on stakeholder feedback, and,
  3. identify the resources, based on stakeholder feedback and/or other considerations,
  4. identify relevant specifications based on attributes, that allows evaluation of the outcome eg. lists, table, notes etc
  5. in relation to the need or opportunity and resources available, describe one or more of the key attributes using following options
    • circle/colour/highlight the attributes which are key
    • annotation on the drawing,
    • written description
    • mindmap (extended)
    • verbal description (students record this onto netbooks)
Design brief written up on a Google Doc.

Work in groups to decide what would be good questions to ask the client / customer. Put ideas onto a shared Google Drawing. This is then posted in the community for all to see and use ideas from.

Google form used to collect questionnaire information from client base. Students put form onto the class community to receive input.
It can also be emailed out to targeted clients if needed.
This form can be individual or in pairs.

Analyse the results of the questionnaire ( use the graphing function of the spreadsheet ? )
Pick out the key points / most popular attributes that need to be included in the design work.
List these key points / specifications with the design brief.

Questions / writing frame structured around SOLO progression, building depth from unistructural to relational.

Group work can be based around 3 levels of SOLO.

Multistructural when listing attributes etc.
(Combine, describe, enumerate, list
Perform serial skills)
Planning for Practice
Analyse their own and others’ planning practices to inform the selection and use of planning tools. Use these to support and justify planning decisions (including those relating to the management of resources) that will see the development of an outcome through to completion.
  • use exemplars to show different options of planning tools for students to select and use
  • use planning tools such as Google templates, Gantt chart apps, Flowchart apps, Google apps etc, to manage planning and to record key decisions at different stages
  • specify timeframes that the tasks need to be completed (eg. due date, actual completion date), including stakeholder feedback (Google+, Google form, embed Google form into Google+ community)
  • tick box or log for ongoing reflection of tasks completed (blog, Google+, checklists etc)
  • use reflection to plan next steps, including results from stakeholder feedback
Make and post examples of project breakdown / timelines / planning sheets.
Students to make their own.

Use a spreadsheet for tracking of class work as they do it, and make it available for all students to see it all the time.

Google calendar embedded on class site for reference to timescale for tasks.

Student project planning - to include tasks / materials / equipment / timescale / changes / next steps

Multistructural when listing jobs to be completed / tools needed etc..
(Combine, describe, enumerate, list
Perform serial skills)
Outcome Development and Evaluation
Analyse their own and others’ outcomes to inform the development of ideas for feasible outcomes. Undertake ongoing functional modelling and evaluation that takes account of key stakeholder feedback and trialling in the physical and social environments. Use the information gained to select and develop the outcome that best addresses the specifications. Evaluate the final outcome’s fitness for purpose against the brief.
  • use research to generate brainstorms, sketches, drawings, models, images, diagrams, videos to describe possible outcomes
  • acquire feedback on functional modelling (eg. Google+) that enables further development of design ideas to meet the specifications
  • rank (pros and cons, checklists, slided scales) and view tests (eg. Youtube) of  possible materials/components from a given range (by the teacher) eg. Google+, and make appropriate selections
  • produce and test the prototype that meets the brief
  • evaluate the fitness for purpose of the outcome against the specifications (successful? or, not successful?)
Create a timeline of mobile phones through time to be able to see the changes that have happened - they can use google drawing / presentation / doc or any other means.

Group discussion question in the community about how changes have occurred in phone design. They can all see each others answers on the community post.

Analysis of a mobile phone of choice, using the SOLO question structure. This can be done on doc, presentation or drawing.

Produce sketches / concepts and models based on results of questionnaire and research. These are then scanned and photographed.

All design work, models and development work posted on the Google Plus class community for feedback from other members of the class. (scans, photos and screenshots)

Use TinkerCad to develop a 3D model to print - take screenshots of development work as they go.

3D print a final phone design drawn on TinkerCad

Photographs of final design to be posted in the community for feedback from the whole class based on a given feedback structure. These photographs can be posted with the original specification points so comparisons can be made by the class.

Write an evaluation of the final phone design / model based on the feedback received from the rest of the class.

Compare and contrast / timeline work is Relational.
(Analyse, apply, argue, compare/contrast, criticise, explain causes, relate, justify)

Presentation template structured to take the students through from unistructural to extended abstract in terms of their types of analysis questions.
Using research work for own ideas is Extended Abstract.
(Create, formulate, generate, hypothesise, reflect, theorise)

This is structured to take students from sketches to models and back to sketches with analysis notes based on SOLO structure.

Relational - when comparing shapes against each other and making judgements for design decisions.
(Analyse, apply, argue, compare/contrast, criticise, explain causes, relate, justify)

Technological Modelling
Understand how evidence, reasoning, and decision making in functional modelling contribute to the development of design concepts and how prototyping can be used to justify ongoing refinement of technological outcomes.
  • state/outline examples of functional and practical reasons for why various design decisions could or should be made; including maintenance requirements
  • explain how evidence gained from functional modelling was used to justify design decisions
  • explain how the evidence from prototyping was used to justify and evaluate fitness for purpose of the outcome
Class discuss / draw and make comfortable shapes - what makes a comfortable shape, why does it have to be a comfortable shape?

The work from the comfortable shapes exercise is then used to start creating concept ideas.

Ideas developed on TinkerCad to think about them in virtual 3D modelling - screen shots taken and analysis done.
Work to be posted in the class community for all to comment on and make suggestions for improvements. Reasons must be given for the suggestions.

Final design to be printed on the 3D printer for a final prototype.

Relational - when comparing shapes against each other and making judgements for design decisions.
(Analyse, apply, argue, compare/contrast, criticise, explain causes, relate, justify)

Relational when giving feedback and critiquing the work of others
(Analyse, apply, argue, compare/contrast, criticise, explain causes, relate, justify)

When I tried to apply this to my NCEA standards for my seniors, I did not find it as easy.
The achievement objectives go up to Level 8 of the curriculum, but it is not explicit anywhere how these link to the actual standards that we work on.

Our Year 10 groups have been collapsed and these students have started NCEA Level 1 earl this year. This is a new thing for us and our DP asked us to make sure the students understood the LANGUAGE of NCEA. This gave me an idea of how to approach visible learning with them.

I have altered the sheet so we worked together on the meanings of the first standard :-
Achieved, Merit, Excellence
This was done really easily on Google Drawings.

Here is the sheet that we are going to use..
Link to where it is on the class site
What I need to add yet, is the SOLO taxonomy structure that is built into the planning of the project so it is obvious to the students where it fits in.

Architect Poster
Promote an organised body of design work to an audience using visual communication techniques
4 credits - Internal

What does it mean?
What will you do?
Promote an organised body of design work to an audience using visual communication techniques.

selecting and presenting the features of an organised body of work to an audience.
Promote - present the work in some way

Organised - different parts working together as a whole

Body of work - more than one piece of design work by your chosen designer

Visual communication techniques - effective presentation of ideas using a range of methods - sketching, use of colour and tone, analysis … both drawn by hand and on the computer
  • Research pictures and information about your chosen architect.
  • Highlight which key pieces of information you will use in your poster design.
  • Use thumbnail sketching techniques to start to design the layout of your poster.
  • Develop your design work using a computer application - making sure you are using a few examples of the designers work, not just one.
  • Analyse the effect you have created with your layout developments.
  • Produce a final poster using Adobe Illustrator.
  • Write a final evaluation analysing your final poster.

Clearly promote an organised body of design work to an audience using visual communication techniques.

purposefully selecting and applying techniques to ensure layout, composition and visual impact are appropriate to the context of the brief and audience.
Clearly - easily seen and understood

Purposefully - with thought, not by accident

Select - choose from a number of options of techniques

Layout - how things are arranged

Composition - how the design is made from separate parts and how they work together.

Visual Impact - how the design looks and the effect it has
Achieved plus :-
  • Explain why you have chosen the images you have on your designs.
  • Produce a write up that summarises the life and style of the architect’s work.
  • Analyse your thumbnail sketches as to how you have arranged your layout.
  • Use design language in analysis of work.
  • Explain how design elements have been used to achieve the design developments.
  • Final design is very clear to understand, to read, to see. It gives a clear explanation of the architect’s work to someone else.

This level also depends on the quality of your work and on you showing your understanding of your Architect.
Effectively promote an organised body of design work to an audience using visual communication techniques.

communicating a high quality presentation that is convincing, shows accuracy of layout, visual impact, and precise execution of techniques.
effectively - does the intended job very well

convincing - the evidence is there that your architect’s work has been taken into account in the layout of your poster.

accuracy - correctly laid out, with no errors.

execution - the method you chose to produce your poster
Achieved and Merit plus :-
  • Analyse the key points of the architect’s work and use these to explain their style.
  • Use the style of the architect’s work to influence the design of the poster.
  • Use design elements well in the layout of the design work.

This level also depends on the quality of your work and on you showing your understanding of your Architect.