We’ve had an action packed week, so I decided to summarize several key items to ensure we are on the same page. I’m also asking for a favor of the design teams … see below:

Design Team Meeting Recordings

We held live webinars this week with each of the design teams. Here are links to the recordings of those sessions, along with the working design plans for each team:

SME Survey Review

As I mentioned during our team meetings, I would like to send out the feedback survey to the SMEs early next week. A few of you mentioned questions that you would like included, so please touch base with me by Monday, September 14th with suggestions to the draft SME survey.

Next “Formal” Design Meetings

We also scheduled our next formal live sessions for each design team. The focus of these meetings will be for the designers to pitch either their initial design plans for their assigned topics (the Open ABE team), or to review their preliminary recommendations (the ALZ team). Please mark your calendar with the following dates for your respective design team:

A favor …

To this point, our team interactions have been primarily introductory “meet and greet”, and a brain dump from me to you. I consider this early process to be the necessary evil of kicking off a large virtual project with a group of strangers. However, I now want to shift away from a “me talking at you” dynamic. We have a unique opportunity to build something wonderful with a diverse group of extremely talented professionals in our field, and I ask for your help in making this experience more than checking off tasks on Jennifer’s to-do list.

To that end, I ask that each of the design teams coordinate an ad hoc meeting WITHOUT me within the next couple of weeks to share and compare ideas on how you plan to tackle your design assignments using Google Hangouts, Skype, etc. While I have sketched out a rough outline within the design plans of how I see the open course evolving, and shared my ideas for the Adult Learning Zone and other deliverables, I have purposely left room for YOUR design expertise and creativity to help shape the experience we are designing.

Ultimately, we need to have our end products speak with a common voice, and I need your help in creating that common voice. For example, on the Open ABE team, most of you are working on individual design assignments for a specific topic in the course, but we need to have a coordinated approach to what the participants will experience in the course (e.g. What is a preferred format for how participants progress through each topic, such presentation of content, practice opportunities, feedback, etc.? How will discussion forums be utilized? How can we incorporate a “designer reflective journal” that JR spoke about in our session? And so on …) To accomplish something that is more than the sum of our parts, it is imperative that you (as designers) have the opportunity to discuss, share, and compare ideas about what the participants will experience and do within the course. While I need to (eventually) be a part of these discussions, it is important to give you space to foster shared ownership, as well. I feel an ad hoc meeting for each design team facilitated by members of the design team will help in that process.

Comments or Questions?

I’m really excited about how things are progressing, and I can’t wait to watch things evolve from a vision to reality. Please touch base with any comments or questions. Thank you!

Jennifer Maddrell