In moving forward to next steps, our team reached out to an outside audience for feedback and compared this with feedback received from our colleagues. Our outside audience included business professionals and school Principals. Both groups held similar opinions about what they valued the most, particularly the need for such a site, the opportunities it afforded to increase parental communication, access to resources, and involvement at school and at home, and translation component of the site. Most changes suggested and concerns expressed included issues of time, getting “buy-in” from parents and teachers who will start-up and run the site, and technical aspects of how the translation function will unfold and how a mobile device program for parents will work. Based on the feedback we received, our team decided further investigation and additional steps were needed prior to rolling out the parent site. First, we will need to conduct additional surveys to both parents and students to see which parents (one or both are likely to participate) and whether both groups view the website as a way to increase parental participation. Second, we need to recruit an initial startup design team consisting of parents and teachers (and a few students) to develop and run a field test/pilot at each of our school sites. This will be done prior to and during back to school nights. Third, the start-up design team will need to develop a plan, including a timeline and calendar, for development and piloting the parent website at our school sites. Finally, we will need to work out the details for how frequently the website will need to be monitored and the use of Google "analytics" to assess the areas used most frequently.
Your individual contribution to this week's work
- Set-up shared Google Document
- Added guidelines, checklist, and rubric
- Suggested using a chart to organize our feedback from outside audience participants.
- Shared Blendspace link with videos to a former Vice Principal of mine who is now Principal at an elementary school. I selected her because she provides an administrator viewpoint and she has experience with elementary, middle school, and high school parent groups. I also shared the Blendspace link with videos to a retired business owner who has experience with developing and getting a patent on a product. I selected him because although retired, he had to go through a similar process in starting up his company, getting “buy-in” for the product he patented, and had to consider very similar steps to what my team did for our design process.
- Read over additional articles/research suggested and selected elements for our team to consider when refining the parent website (Ulises and Angela reviewed this section and agreed I’d covered points from the articles that were relevant for our design project).
- Collaborated with Ulises and Angela in both parts of the evolution phase in refining our website.
Challenges the group or I faced, and what I would do differently to better the process?
- By this phase in the process, we have improved our digital collaborative skills and found communication and collaboration less of an issue than the early phases in the design process.
- Divergent thinking is also becoming easier.
- We are using our collaboration time more efficiently.
- Confidence in our design skills and in our own ideas has improved as well during this phase of the design process.
- In terms of challenges, probably the biggest during this phase was getting outside audience members to view our design model and give us feedback within a short time frame (I called in a few favors, as my former administrator was starting at a new school during the time frame I needed the feedback and other administrators I’d considered were out of town).
I use a similar process as required in the evolution phase for students to evaluate and reflect on their work. However, I usually have them seek feedback from classmates or from students in other classes. I like the idea of having them seek perspectives from an outside audience. This also has the additional benefit of making my students more accountable. If they know that others in the community and well-respected professionals will be viewing their work, the effort they put into the work will most likely reflect this. (If I were to change anything in this process, I’d make sure students had a clearer idea of all of the phases and processes prior to starting).
How did effective communication play a role in your collaboration throughout the entire DT process? Strengths? Areas of growth?
As mentioned previously, our team’s confidence improved throughout the collaborative process, we became less dependent and reliant on the guidelines from our professors, engagement increased among group dynamics (we moved from frustration in the early phases of the process to increased investment and a clearer understanding of the entire process). This in turn, afforded better communication. Overall, I learned a lot about problem solving, the importance of communication in the collaborative process, and feel I will be successful in implemented similar processes with students and staff.