Ideation Through Brainstorming and Incubation

For the past two weeks, my Learning Technology by Design class has focused on ideation. The goal of this phase has been to generate as many ideas or solutions regarding my Problem of Practice as possible. Early in the week, I created an incubation journal in Evernote. I choose Evernote because I can access this journal with my computer, phone or iPad and odds are, I’ll always have access to one of those devices! There were times when I purposely went to my journal to read it over and added a few things but there were also times when an idea or thought popped into my head while I was doing something else. I then quickly opened up Evernote to record these thoughts. At the end of the week, I attempted to analyze my incubation journal and I grouped similar topics by color. (Click on the journal picture below or HERE to see my full incubation journal.)Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 9.04.48 AM.png

In addition to this incubation journal, I also held a brainstorming session during the middle of the week. A coworker and I sat down and I described my Problem of Practice and what I had discovered the past few weeks during the empathy and define phases of this design process. We then started throwing out ideas regardless whether they were practical or not. We withheld judgment while we captured all our thoughts and connections on a whiteboard (see below). Fairly early on, we identified a few major topics so I attempted to color-code our ideas the rest of the way. Although there were only two of us brainstorming, it was fun to see how our ideas fed off each other as we built upon each other’s ideas. Even a few impractical ideas led to something more useful. After about 20 minutes, the ideas were slowing down and my co-worker had to teach. However, for the next hour or two, other coworkers passed by the whiteboard and asked me questions about it. This lead to a few more additions. (It is still displayed and I am hoping to come back to it again this coming week to see if any new thoughts, ideas, and connection jump out.)Brainstorming 1

In the coming weeks, I will begin to decide which ideas should be pursued. So far, I really like the idea of combining the AP Biology standards into questions and building each lesson around one of these questions. I think that this will help to free up time (by reducing lessons) while also boosting student motivation as they seek to answer these questions and make connections to other lessons/questions. Another idea to pursue will be flipping the classroom (to some extent) and how homework can be better used to provide crucial information while freeing up class time for more hands-on learning. Finally, I want to pursue student metacognition and encourage my students to think about their thinking. This in part can be done through the iLMS Edify. I feel that I am starting to make progress on my Problem of Practice and I’m excited to see where it ends up!

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