Thursday, February 22, 2018

Writing a Design Brief with Year 7 and 8 by asking questions.

Today with my Intermediate class, we needed to write the design brief for the project that we are going to do this term.
I decided to do this by having them ask questions based around WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN WHY.
I saw this idea  when i was browsing the blog posts of fellow CoL teachers. I read a post from +Hinerau Anderson where she was using these questions to get the students to connect with her website. I thought this would be a good idea to use with the students to write their own design briefs.

So today, we all opened up a blank document instead of me making them a template. I put up the words (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN WHY) on my document and asked the class to shout out any questions they could think of as we went down the words, one by one. I had already told them that the project was about making a holder / stand for a mobile phone.

Here are the questions that the class came up with together today.
What was good here was that no question was out of place or judged "unworthy" by the rest of the class. No question was a bad question. All input was accepted.

Design  Brief
Who is the design for?
Who is making the design?
Who will use the design?
What are we going to design?
What is the design going to be used for?
What is the design going to be made from?
What is the purpose of the design?
What do we need in order to make this design?
Where is the design going to be made?
Where can you put the design when you are using it?
When will the design be made?
When will the design be finished?
When can the design be used?
Why are we making this design?
Why do we need this design?

The class then went through each question on their own document and answered them. In this way, they have a design brief and reasons for it that they have put together themselves.



"Making Thinking Visible : How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and Independence for All Learners" - Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church and Karin Morrison. Link here to Kindle edition

There is a lot of discussion in the book about letting the students ask the questions rather than answering them.
"when students ask authentic questions, we know they are focussed on the learning and not just the completion of assignments"

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