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Create your own Design Brief from a design problem you identify in the Observation Task from Assessment Item 2


Identify and describe the design problem


We are a senior college with approximately 550 students across Year 11 and 12. When entering the college library in the morning, students are faced with an unwelcoming cold and dark space, often a considerable wait, either for the library to open or to unpack their bags and a lack of availability of staff to interact in learning activities. This is a half hour of time that is not made available to teaching and learning.


I explored the problem using the following tools;


Abstraction Laddering from

The “Looking” tactics in Luma Institute’s Taxonomy for Innovation: http://hbr.org/2014/01/a-taxonomy-of-innovation/ar/1

Screen shot 2014-08-15 at 8.45.08 AM


How might we?… from

D.school, Stanford University, How might we?… Method Card: http://dschool.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/HMW-METHODCARD.pdf Accessed August 10, 2014.


Amp up the good: HMW engage students in learning as early as possible? HMW discover what students want from their morning time in the library?

Remove the bad: HMW remove bags from the equation?

Explore the opposite: HMW use the waiting/unpacking time as unstructured learning time?

Question an assumption: HMW we make the wait useful instead of a waste of time?

ID unexpected resources: HMW get other teachers involved and increase the learning possibilities?

Create an analogy from need or context: HMW make library like a welcoming coffee shop?

Play POV against the challenge: HMW make the library a place more teachers are attracted to in the morning?

Break POV into pieces: HMW engage teachers? Share the load? Organise connections?


Quote from Principal “From observation over the past 18 months, there are many students who arrive between 7.40-8.15am. Currently we provide no space for them to use this time productively for learning. Anecdotally, these students tell me that they WOULD use a space if provided. It could be useful to have learning space available for individual and collaborative study plus time/space for informal tutorials between teachers and students. all of this would fit comfortably with a view of young adults taking responsibility for their own learning.”


Design Brief: Increase effective teaching and learning time available in the college library before school.


Design Brief justification: I think the final design brief offers flexibility to look beyond just the “morning organisation” that was part of the original brief. The “How might we?…” technique made me think more broadly about the resources that could be used and to include teachers as one of those possible resources. Having access to teachers will certainly make the library a more attractive prospect for students who do not otherwise use it in the morning, and perhaps justify an earlier starting time. I also like the scope of making the waiting time more productive, such as posters, a TV screen with study tips/various resources, conversation with the TL etc.


The design brief has definitely shifted from a physical question (bags/waiting) to a pedagogical question (teaching/learning)


Ideas to prototype:

*Discuss an adjustment of hours with library technicians to facilitate an 8am opening time.

*Discuss with KLA coordinators the possibility of having teachers available in the library in the morning on an either informal or rostered (volunteer) basis.

*Develop ideas with eLearning coordinator on effective digital additions to foyer area to promote learning.

*Make available morning hot chocolate in winter?

*Consult with students on what they believe would create an effective morning of learning (thanks Greg!)


I have commented on

Heather’s blog http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/hbailie/

Helen’s blog http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/ipractice/

Katie’ blog http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/polis/



D.school, Stanford University, How might we?… Method Card: http://dschool.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/HMW-METHODCARD.pdf Accessed August 10, 2014.


The “Looking” tactics in Luma Institute’s Taxonomy for Innovation: http://hbr.org/2014/01/a-taxonomy-of-innovation/ar/1


§51 · August 14, 2014 · Assessment, INF 536, Library, Uncategorized · (2 comments) ·

2 Comments to “Design Brief – Blog Task #3”

  1. millerg says:

    Hello Heather,

    I am sure the conversations with Librarians, Co-ordinators, e-Learning personnel etc. will assist with the prototype process.

    With the understanding that the user experience is crucial to resolving the identified problem (Pilloton 2010; Eden, Elliot et al. 2012) AND, if the “real users” of the space are the students, could they also be involved in the conversations and mentioned in the brief?

    Eden, W., Elliot, A., et al. (2012). School Design with Design Thinking. San Jose, California.

    Pilloton, E. (2010). Teaching Design for Change http://www.ted.com, Youtube. http://www.ted.com/talks/emily_pilloton_teaching_design_for_change

  2. Heather says:

    I love how this has tranformed from a “problem” of bags to a question of providing/supporting the learning opportunity of the before school time. I found the HMW questions from d.School very useful too.
    A few years ago at my previous school we had a PD on generational poverty. As a response the library staff decided to host homework club once a week after school. We provided food (mostly toast and popcorn – doesn’t every library need a popcorn machine!!! -because they are inexpensive). Up till then the maths faculty had been holding after school help that was attended by a few students each week so rather than compete we invited them to the library as well. Three years later homework club is going strong with 80 or more students and at least 10 teachers each week. Admin have come on board with a budget for food too.
    I wonder if your before school “problem” could be transformed with a similar approach, the support of teachers would be essential of course.

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