Case Study Closed


Time to reflect now that my final draft of my case study report is complete. My word count is currently a small problem but I have reached out to my network namely my job-share partner to read through and act as my editor.

My case study was one of those projects that organically grew and developed. Through extended professional reading  and experiences collecting data my ideas on how to organise the analysis and the key issues arose. In past academic case studies ( in fact I have only really done one other in my first masters degree) I found that the process of time allows different ideas, statistics and evidence to cross over and correlate. I eventually had the idea this time to overlay the digital literacies with the survey questions, interview transcript contents and evidence of students’ work, using colour coding. Discussions in the digital colloquium with Cathie from MacICT also helped to confirm that colour coding was a good strategy. What eventuated was a view of the data which highlighted the importance of digital literacy skills  in the autonomous learning that occurs when learners publish digital artefacts online independently.

What has eventuated is not a lot different form my proposal, it’s just more detailed. If I was to do another case study, one thing I would try is to approach it with a design thinking approach. There were some things I didn’t think of  till I was too far into the process.Time to observe and then ideate would of been good. A backward design approach where I would start at where I want to finish may of helped too.

Overall I’m quite happy with the evidence, creativity and thinking behind my case study. Time now to share it with my school teaching community, after all it was about them and for them.

Assignment 6 Part B:Critical Reflection INF536

The commencement of this subject ‘Designing Spaces for Learning’ correlated with opportunities at my workspace to put my design thinking skills to the test.  My Leadership team at my school were noticing that I had valuable insights to share and I was ready to join them on a design process to design some new physical spaces in the school.

Personally I have learnt the value of observing environments and people to make better choices and decisions. I appreciate good service, functional spaces and the value of listening to users.

The nature of the Blog tasks encouraged me to realise the potential in changing the learning spaces to encourage collaboration, creativeness and newness.

Very early in the semester after reading Kuratko’s The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration: transforming organizational thinking.(2012) I began to recognise the value in collaboration, involving stakeholders in decision making  and developing a common language  abut design.  In preparation for initial talks about our school’s new Library design I developed a Flickr page where all stakeholders could add and observe images of Libraries they liked. I also helped transform and guide their thinking by sharing the principles from Kuratko (2012) and Brown (2009). What eventuated were  new, varied and many ideas! My library assistant even came up with a complete design and was included in the discussions with the leadership team and architect. This was a great example of participatory design (Woolner, 2009).

Following on from this positive experience I then began to frame my ideas for learning spaces in a more defined manner. My first attempt was to write a design brief for the new library using Kurtako’s (2012) recommendations as a guideline. The next design brief I wrote was for the entrance of our school (Blog task 3): for the first time ever I used Stanford’s How might we?… Method.  This simple change in framing the design brief really allowed be to come up with new ideas and contemplate the unknowns (Hatchuel,2004).

I have come to realise, partly through recently completing the Case Study on changes that have happened in our digital learning space that I can use my understanding of the design process, design thinking approaches, creative culture and the importance of recognising the influences and interactions of learning pedagogy, space and technology (Wilson & Randall, 2012) to reflect on past practices and make better decisions during future design projects.

Digital design is an aspect of education where I can see a lot of potential for innovation. The different online spaces like  McIntosh’s (2010)‘Seven Spaces’ , Thornburg’s(2014)campfires, watering holes, caves, life spaces and then Runnquist’s(2011) mountain-top spaces  has helped me identify new ideas that are yet to be integrated in our developing online spaces.

I feel more motivated now to facilitate a creative culture in my educational organisation and beyond. I know I am able to facilitate conversations about creative culture after a successful creative coffee morning. I do notice sometimes that the ’Status Quo’ and pragmatism  in education organisations can challenge one’s ability to be creative when changing learning spaces, but I think that a better understanding of approaches like design thinking will help me contribute to transforming the future schools that I work in and have an impact on student’s learning.


Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organisations. Harper Business., Stanford University, How might we?… Method Card: Accessed March 1, 2014

Hatchuel, A., Le Masson, P., & Weil, B. (2004). CK theory in practice: lessons from industrial applications. In DS 32: Proceedings of DESIGN 2004, the 8th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in Innovation accerlation: transforming organisational thinking. Boston: Pearson.

McIntosh, E. (2010). Clicks and Bricks: How Schools Buiidlings Influence Future Practice and Technology Adoption. Educational Facility Planner, Volume 45, Issues 1 & 2.

Runnquist, A. (2011). Learning envrionments based on learning. Retrieved October 2014, from Vittrabloggen:

Thornburg, D. D. (2014, March). From the Campfire to the Holodeck, How Place Matters in Education. Retrieved October 2014, from Youtube:

Wilson, G., & Randall, M. (2012). The implementation and evaluation of a new learning space: a pilot study. Research in Learning Technology, Vol.20.

Woolner, P. (2009). Building schools for the future through participatory design process: exploring the issues and investigating ways forward. BERA 2009. Manchester.

The Evolution of a Digital Space

The ‘School Portal’ of the Secondary College I work at has been going through a continual evolution for ten years now. The evolution of this space which serves both students and staff has reflected the development of educational technology, our understanding of how technology can be integrated, the needs of the teaching staff , and our pedagogical changes.Most big design decisions are based on what is discussed in meetings between staff, including; Leadership, IT teams, ICLT committee, Academic leaders, informal ‘corridor conversations”. Not many formal conversations happen with the students.

This digital space now consists of the original LMS with a few additional LMS linked on to provide choice and to incorporate those programs that have been stipulated by the overriding educational organisation. The IT department led by the Network Engineer have always made an effort to customise this LMS to serve the needs of the school community. They have been receptive to teacher’s ideas.What eventuated was a reasonably functional space that provided a choice of mediocre LMS that were all similar.Sometimes the users struggle to keep up with the changes and hence don’t use the tools.

Over the last ten months a greater focus has been placed on teaching and learning and decisions are being based more on current teaching and learning pedagogies like Hattie’s principles of Visible Learning (2013), the Flipped classroom strategies (Bull,G., Ferster,B. & Kjellstrom, W., 2012) , collaborative and student-led learning. The IT team along with selected and interested teachers have begun a more measured testing and trial of an alternative LMS.  The IT team and leadership has come to realise how important it is to collaborate with an engage the interested and entrepreneurial teachers to try new things out (and develop new designs or prototypes) These recent activities look a lot more like Design Thinking then previous previous decisions and actions regarding our school’s digital learning space.


  • Hattie, J & Yates G. C. R. (2013). Visible learning and the science of how we learn. Routledge.
  • Bull,G., Ferster,B. & Kjellstrom, W. (2012) Inventing the Flipped Classroom. Learning & Leading with Technology, Vol.40(1), p.10(2).

Creative Coffee Morning -Blog Task 4

Tweets blog task 4      facebook Capture

My Creative Coffee morning yesterday was a great opportunity to bring together a variety of people I know in different areas of my life who do think creatively; some didn’t realise just how much they do this. I had three teaching colleagues (each from a different subject area), a midwife (who works in health management), a director of a company who provides administration services for non-for –profit organisations and  a colleague’s sister (who I hadn’t met before) who manages a post office. This seemed to be a good mix of teachers and non-teachers, people that work in service industries and also people who make management decisions and those that don’t as much. As well as getting to know each other we had a lengthy and interesting conversation about creative cultures.

I had some noted some points to keep the discussion going:

▪Benefit s of a creative culture.

▪Features of creative workspaces.

▪Successful creative and innovative work spaces.

▪Do our environments allow for creativity?

▪How does learning happen in social interactions?

Throughout the meeting I introduced them to mind mapping and we shared our thoughts by creating mind maps as we talked. I did do this to collect their ideas but also just to do something creative together. This activity did attract a bit of attention in the café.

IMAG0567    IMAG0568

We ended up discussing

▪User-needed designing processes compared to just discussing types of buildings.

▪The effect of technology use on people’s creativity and learning – can be a positive and negative influence.

▪How policies and management can stifle intuition and creativity.

▪ The positive aspect of multidisciplinary teams; respect, support, trust, ability to take risks

▪What creative workspaces feel like and look like; colourful, welcoming, efficient, ’homely’, enjoyable, confidence biding, opinions are valued, sense of ownership.

▪What is creativity; not just artwork- it is problem solving, coming up with new ideas, adaptability.

The feedback received from the group following the coffee morning was very positive; great coffee and conversation, learning while socialising was enjoyable, enjoyed meeting new people and we knew more about creativity than we thought.

I have made a comment on these other Blog  #4 posts




Blog task 3 -Design Brief – Entrance of a School


Background Information: The main entrance area of the school includes the administration, staff area and Library buildings. There is minimal gardens and seating area. It fronts the only car park and bus bay area. All the administration, staff area and Library buildings are scheduled for redevelopment over the next two years. We are not limited in the manner of which the original buildings are used or not used and the position of the buildings is up for rearrangement – new concepts for the purpose and design of this area can and should be considered, there is an opportunity to do something different.

Constraints: Surrounding classroom buildings, existing car park, bus bay requirements and limited monetary funds (as determined by management).

Challenge: To redesign the entrance of the school and create an environment that provides a connection point to home, a welcoming environment and a social meeting place for students (and staff).

POV (Point of View): In meeting this challenge we need to take a human-centred approach, and consider how students and staff interact with each other out of class time (and during lessons).

Pillars of the design: These project pillars are the focus points for this design (Kuratko, Goldsworthy, & Hornsby, 2012) –

Welcoming and inviting Social spaces Student to student/student to staff/ staff to staff relations Flourishing and Friendly community Supervision and safety


For this new entrance area, “How Might We (HMW)….” (D.School, 2012)

Amp up the good: HMW develop an area like the Library is well used in its existing form by students before school to meet, complete school work, gain assistance by the staff, print, and have access to free tutoring before and after school. A Library that allows for these behaviours needs to be included in this educational space. As staff walk past the waiting area near the car park, they can be aware of how many students are still waiting for their parents to come and pick them up.

Remove the bad: HMW increase limited seating areas outside the buildings. The existing seating is also cold in the cooler months, with the wind moving freely through it. There is not enough room for storage of bags. Students also have limited undercover areas to wait for the buses and parents at pick-up. The Library where many students congregate before and after school is not right near the car park.

Explore the opposite: HMW design this area could be a meeting area where students and staff greet each other, choose to sit and prepare for the day ahead or debrief after the day. It has spaces for people to sit. It is seen as the place to be. Parents can find their children easily and everyone feels welcome. Staff are there as resources.

Explore the assumption; HMW know what students want to meet at the front of the school? What do they want to do there? What sort of resources are we going to provide? How is the connection to home life made?

Go after adjectives: HMW make the area welcoming, social, sheltering, warm, resourceful, motivating, good for learning and safe.

ID unexpected resources: HMW create a space where students can be easily supervised, after school activities can be facilitated and more interactions between the staff and greater community can take place. The students can form an ownership of the space.

Create an analogy from the need of context: HMW form a space that makes all students feel like it’s a second home or an environment where they feel supported to learn and get ready to spread their wings into the wider world.

POV versus the challenge: HMW encourage the adolescent students to use this space and interact with each other. What does the space need to make it seem welcoming, social but still focused on encouraging learning.

Challenge the status quo: HMW engage adolescent students who don’t initiate positive interactions with staff and make them want to socialise in the school environment.

Breaking the POV into pieces: HMW provide enough room for the students who need to wait for parents and get onto buses. HMW connect the Library, Admin, staff and transport areas..


  • Both the Library and Admin buildings can be refurbished or rebuilt where they are, more undercover areas could be built to house student before and after school.
  • The Library could be shifted to the front near the car park and good signage will guide the community to the admin building. The Library will be the gateway to the school. A large undercover area will be out the front. More seating will surround this main community area.
  • Extend the Library and build its role as a community hub (place it at the front of the school), connect it to the staff areas.
  • Build a large undercover area including a community café, wellness centre including chaplain, senior hub

References:, Stanford University, How might we?… Method Card: Accessed March 1, 2014

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration : transforming organizational thinking. (pp.103-123). Boston : Pearson.


I have made a comment on these other design briefs





Blog Task 2 – another experience

blog task 2 coffeeI am including this observation because it was a spontaneous decision that turned out to be a very pleasant customer experience,because the people running this coffee shop did things a bit differently.At the end of the short experience I left happier. I also saw  the whole scenario with different eyes now that I am participating in this course – I did notice that the space in the coffee shop was being used in a slightly unusual way.

I was on the way to pick up my child from school after  a PD course in a different area of Brisbane than I am usually in. I chose to stop in a busy little shopping strip where I could see multiple coffee shops. I chose this coffee shop because it was closest to my car and a nice friendly lady met me at the doorway. I asked if they were making  take-away coffee, she replied yes, asked me what I would like, wrote the order and my name down and requested another staff member make it. I still had not entered the shop and was standing at the doorway on the path because the cash register was just at the doorway. Whilst waiting for the coffee I was given a free bottle of water and asked if I wanted a loyalty card. One other customer came and too was met at the door. They wanted to sit down, so was shown personally to a table.  I was also given a free little biscuit with my coffee too – all this for $4.00. Some people who were walking by the shop looked at me , maybe wondering  what I was doing loitering in the door way – it did feel different but I was amongst the outdoor air and took the opportunity to have a look around at the unknown streetscape.

As I left the shop though I felt as a customer that I had received very good value for money and the service staff had interacted in a very positive and friendly manner. It was a bit fun too not going through the same more common process of working my way through a coffee shop and waiting in a line.

PS. About a week later, whilst sitting in a meeting at my Principal’s office, I noticed she had a few water bottles with this shop’s labels on her desk. Interesting!



Blog task 2

blog task 2 sketch 2The area of my daily routine is my morning walk from the school car park through to the Library. It takes place at 8am as the school community is beginning to arrive at school. The Administration and Library are both up for redevelopment in the next 18 months. It is the main entry area to the school. I think how students and staff cross paths, greet each other and congregate in the mornings can have a big impact on the day.

Staff wave to each other whilst driving in the car park. They say hi to each other, some choose to have a conversation whilst walking through the car park. I don’t go into the staff room; I walk straight towards the Library .Most students don’t acknowledge staff whilst in their cars or saying goodbye to parents, in the bus bay area. A few students wait for their friends out the front. Once inside the school grounds most students say “morning” or “morning sir/miss” as they pass on the pathway. Some students congregate under the classroom verandas – they are not allowed to do this (they are meant to be in the common areas) and are roused on by the teachers to move away from this area.

The students who sit in the undercover area (most are there regularly) engage in a longer conversation with me. They have longer conversations with a group of friends, asking how each other is, they say ‘Have a good day”. I will walk through the middle of the undercover seating area. It is cold in this concrete area; it seems to bother some students.

As I approach the main entrance of the Library and its undercover area where the bag racks are there are students who regularly come to the Library early to work or read. They interact with me in more complex conversations; they may even wait and open the door for me.  The temperature in the Library is warmer (it is air-conditioned), the people are warmer to each other too. A couple of students are usually printing quietly and concentrating on getting their assignments sorted for the day.  There is already a quiet hum of some students helping each other with homework, talking to the other Library staff or catching up with a friend.

The students want a place to meet friends in the morning. Some of them don’t want to be right where the teachers are. At this time of year people want to be out of the cold in the morning.

The extended leadership team have begun discussions about this area as the connection between home and school (in the morning and afternoons). We are asking the questions “Is this main entry area giving a good first impression or setting up the right sort of interactions?” and “Would it be better to have a common learning/social area like a Library plus undercover area right next to the car park?”

Comments shared on other Blogs

Jame’s (Jim’s)



Blog Task #1 INF 536

a)      In the reading lounge of the Secondary College Library where I work, there is a small wall  that currently has a large map drawer, a poster holder, an information board (which has had the same posters on it for years) and some old photographs.  The adjacent wall has laptop benches and chargers and on the other side is the circulation desk. The maps and their containers are not used a lot and they are big, heavy and not very attractive – only teachers use them rarely, not students.  The space should be used for encouraging a reading culture not housing unused posters.


b)       Technology developments are driving a change in the way that Library services are being delivered to our learning communities. These changes are providing new choices for reading communities and the need for innovative ideas. Good design in this space could speed up the innovation process in our services- this is a continuing goal (Kurato, Goldsworthy, & Hornsby, 2012).  Following Tim Brown’s (2009) recommendations to start the designing process by focusing on the needs of humans alerts me to the fact that this space is not matching the behaviour of the humans in our school community. The culture and context of our school is changing and becoming more digital, participatory and client driven. This space is in the reading lounge, it could be used to connect the reading community to our recently added digital Library.  The digital library provides over $60,000 worth of books (it is shared with all the 120 schools in our district).The students have access via the school portal but it is still an underused but excellent resource.  The inspiration to alter the design of this area is influenced by the opportunity of access to the digital library that we want to seize; it makes a lot of financial sense (we don’t have to pay for it) and for a large part of our community access to digital resources is desirable.

c)       To create a space that increases the school communities access the digital library we will need to provide technology that allows the student a straight and simple connection to this digital space. The interface of the Digital Library lends itself to a being a permanent fixture on a screen. The user can browse the Library completely and then just log in when they want to borrow a book. The books will be downloaded into their account which they can access from their own device later.  All this could be done on a large touch screen that would be very attractive to the students.  All the map and poster storage could be shifted to another less used space in the Library. We have the funds to put in a simple high bench for the students to stand at and use the screen.  Instructions could be placed on the wall behind to guide students and teachers in using the Digital Library.


Brown, T. (2009). Designers – think big. Retrieved 2014, from TED:

Kurato, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in Innovation accerlation: transforming organisational thinking. Boston: Pearson.


Comments on other blogs:




Transforming organisational thinking – a practical application

This week involved the first formal meeting to plan for a new Library at the school I work at as the teacher-librarian. Over the last month the major stakeholders had collated images collaboratively using  a Flickr album and have had many informal discussions. I knew my learning in this subject was going to help with this designing project and I was really glad to start putting the theory into practice.

After reading Kurato, Goldsworthy and Hornsby’s (2012) The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration: transforming organizational thinking, I summarised the important points and put them in an email to the other staff . Part of the reason what to digest and synthesise my thinking and also to explain my strategies in thinking about our design. Here’s what I wrote

Hello All,

I have attached some reading about The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration: transforming organisational thinking (after a discussion with ****** and ****** today ). It is very relevant, I think to the designing and planning we are currently involved in ( and hopefully will continue to do so as educators and managers of learning spaces). It made me think about how we can approach the design process. The main points I took away were (pg 104 – 115):
*designing a product or service that is worthwhile will drive innovation, the more innovation we generate, the more entrepreneurial we can be.
*the importance to apply creativity and be proactive
*we need to use our constraints as a source of inspiration
In developing our design brief
*we need to be inspired by a problem to solve or an opportunity to seize 
*focus on the main idea we have  – a Library that provides tech and information services and offers an environment that is different to the classrooms  (?!!), not ourselves.
*in a collaborative approach to designing the space look for consistent answers and insights.
*develop a clear vision and then identify the project pillars that hold up that vision (especially in a design brief).
This presentation by IDEO’s Tim Brown was also an interesting description of how design thinking is different to design.
His focus was
*less on the object and more on the design thinking as an approach to solving problems
*start with the humans
*the dramatic changes happening in technology (and education) are providing opportunities for new choices and existing solutions are becoming obsolete.
*the question that we are trying to answer or the solution we are seeking needs to be used to create the design brief.
 So, before our meeting on Thursday and throughout our designing and planning of these new learning and work spaces I am going to take these points into consideration and use them as guidelines. I hope this all makes some sense. I am still trying to synthesize all this information, and it probably isn’t all new to you but I think it will help us.
It was quietly but positively received. I find in educational settings in the busyness of the tasks teachers and leadership complete all day they don’t always pay attention to these big ideas and need time set aside  to discuss and learn about the thinking that will transform our learning and teaching.
Brown,T. (2009). Designers- think big TED
 Accessed  18.7.14
Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration : transforming organizational thinking. (pp.103-123). Boston : Pearson.