So, in an effort to fully immerse myself in connected learning, I worked on creating a Design Challenge assignment and had a couple of my classmates in CO301d try it out. The assignment can be found here.
Honestly, we had a lot of fun with this assignment. It was great seeing how they took it in directions that I never expected. And, I hear that the shoes that my classmates made were actually pretty comfortable. However, the assignment was much harder to make a “connected” learning experience than I had expected, especially considering we only had one group working on the project. I think the two biggest advantages I would have had if I had been working in a real class would be having more students and more time. We could have fully fleshed out our ideas, done some mini-lessons that related the project more closely to the text we were reading, and had more time to interact with other people, both in class and online, to build stronger connections.
That said, the group really did connect over this project. They used one student’s shoes as a model to craft their own around, they came up with way more effective ideas than one person would have come up with on their own, and their final product was better than I imagined. I would’ve walked a mile in those shoes. Yes, my feet would have been sweaty, and the soles would have been falling off, but that’s a lesson learned. Next time we could tweak our design to be more effective.
Finally, I had a group of six people. I would have liked to have had two groups of three so that we could compare final products, bounce ideas off of groups, and have everyone more involved. Even in this small assignment with college students, there was a student who didn’t participate, but kind of just sat by and did their own thing. This seems to be one of the biggest challenges with connected learning:
How do we get everyone connected?