Location, context, time, and duration
An instructor training event took place at the Department of Software Engineering of the National University of Computer and Emerging sciences on October 26, 2022. The event took place in one of the lecture halls of the School of Computing.
The event was attended by 21 higher education instructors from the Department of Computer Science and Software engineering of the National University computer and emerging sciences.
Description of activities
Participants had the opportunity to be exposed to design thinking and gamification principles, which are the backbone of the proposed ICT-INOV methodological learning approach for developing innovation skills in higher education.
In addition, participants were exposed to examples of exercises that can be deployed in the design thinking process steps of team building, fostering creativity, problem discovery, empathy, problem redefinition, ideation, idea selection, prototyping, and evaluation. They used tools in each step of the design thinking process. For example, in the team building phase they introduced team names and designed team logs, they worked on a team canvas outlining collaboration rules, and they engaged in creative exercises. In the problem definition phase, they defined the problem space. In the discovery phase, they used activities such as a neighborhood walk, which provides diverse viewpoints to a given problem. They further prepared and conducted interviews for understanding user needs. Based on the results, they mapped a user persona using an empathy map that outlines what a user sees, feels, hears, says and does, as well as the user pain and gain. In the ideation phase, they engaged in association building exercises and activities that help generate a rich pool of solutions. Finally, students selected one idea for which they developed a low-resolution prototype. They described their solution through a poster.
Finally, the participants experienced a demo of the ICT-INOV learning platform. More specifically, participants were exposed to both the educator and student interfaces. On the educator side, the participants saw how to create an activity, how to post instructions for students for each design thinking steps, the platform analytics, the gamification elements that promote engagement through rewards, the access to the reference manual, the calendar of activities, and more. Furthermore, the participants saw the resource library available in the platform, which includes suggested exercises for each design thinking step from which educators can select ideas for integrating into the activities they design for their students. On the student side, the participants saw how students register to a class, join a team, and participate in design thinking by sharing ideas on a common team working space. In addition, how to ask for help from the instructor and to open the team canvas to the entire class for additional feedback, if so desired.
Participants were further exposed to actual ICT-INOV learning activities developed for the Software Engineering and Technologies in Education courses. These activities have already been used in courses. Participants had the opportunity to see student canvas examples of good practice. In addition, participants discussed activities of interest to students, such as reducing CO2 emissions in data centers.
Feedback and web presence
It was promoted via email to students and faculty members across departments. In all, it was a very productive activity that achieved its goal of promoting the update of project outcomes. The feedback from the participants was very positive, particularly with respect to the proposed design thinking methodology and supporting digital learning services.