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From Context to Problem

Our client for is project is Winchester Thurston (WT) School in Pittsburgh. We need to make a design case that helps them solve the problems in project-based learning. We first met four stakeholders Graig Marx, Instructor of Research Science at WT school;Adam Nye, Assistant Head for Educational Strategy & Director of City as Our Campus program; Amanda Welsh, Dean of Faculty & Director of Middle School and Loren Gordon, Associate Director of College Counseling. 

We used affinity diagramming and diagnostic mapping to summarize the problems of four categories: assessment, project making, collaboration. Below is an example of the diagnostic map for assessment problems. 

Fig. 1 Diagnostic Map for Assessment Problems

Then we sent out questionnaires to students involved in PBL courses at WT school and found out that the greatest challenges they encounter in PBL are technique difficulties, research difficulties, and difficulty determining next steps. 

Next, we each drew 5 storyboards and did speed dating with our stakeholders. At last, 20 storyboards were condensed into 3. We finally decided to include the contents from 2 of our storyboards to inform our final design. The final problems we want to solve through our design are learning goal setting & tracking, collaboration and assessment. 

Fig.2 Storyboards

First Design 

First, we used paper prototype and storyboards to do user test on 2 WT students. Below is the homepage of our system, which includes functions like uploading project proposal, setting learning goals, uploading daily logs, checking progress bar, uploading self-reflection and viewing final grades.