I decided to wait a day to write this week’s design journal entry so I could report the results of my first real meeting with Lu Post, president of Home Care Institute. Lu is graciously offering her valuable time to work with me this semester as an intern. She also will be the client for my EDIT 6190 second-timer project.
I’m getting ahead of myself, though. After seeing the project ideas of the others in my cohort during our online studio meeting last night and knowing I would meet with Lu today, I decided to really open my mind to a lot of possibilities for this semester to make sure I’m making the best choices. I’ve been struggling a bit with the ethical necessity of separating my internship from my EDIT6190 project. I considered creating a learning module for Home Care Institute for my project, and then I thought about making it my internship experience. If I chose to make it my internship experience, what would my project be?
I’ve heard a lot of encouraging words about selecting a personal project. Without a client driving the project, perhaps I would have more room for creativity and more flexibility when given input from the others in the studio. So last night my husband said I should consider creating a project for something that is my passion: gelato. True, I am a big fan of Paolo’s gelato in Atlanta. Inspired by Lucy’s project idea to create a hybrid game using Live Code, I contemplated building an APP for Paolo that shares all sorts of information about gelato. In the back of my mind I fretted whether this would be the best move for me professionally. Sure, it might be a fun project, but I don’t really see myself creating APPs.
Today I presented a few possibilities in my meeting with Lu. To make a long story short, we came up with a plan that seems to fit my needs and the needs of Home Care Institute.
Home Care Institute is both an LMS and content vendor for home health and hospice care training. I will work closely with Lu Post, president, to build a site for a client portal. This would require me to design the portal using style sheets since each portal is customized for each client. I would then build learning programs which is similar to the development of curriculum. This will give me a broad range of experience with the various components of the Net Dimensions LMS.
EDIT 6190 Second-Timer Project
Lu will provide me with a temporary license to use Articulate Storyline this semester to create a learning module. We considered several possible topics, finally deciding that I would be a great person to create a basic math application course for nurses and clinicians. This course would be scenario based, including practical applications and opportunities for practice with situations directly related to patient care. Lu will work with me through their design process including storyboarding, the development of audio and visual assets, and finally the development of the product. She has encouraged me to be creative throughout the process which I feel makes this an ideal project for EDIT6190.
This delineation of project and internship work aligns in my mind with the difference between the design of an instructional solution and the practical management of instructional products. The studio project is more of a challenge in design and the internship plan provides opportunities for practical experience and learning.
For the learning module, I was interested to read about how designers think, looking for how the engineer and teacher in me would each approach the project. Lawson (1980) described in detail a study set up to compare the design approaches of architects to scientists. The architects or designers typically adopted a solution-focused strategy while the scientists approached design with a problem-focused strategy. For the designers, analysis or understanding of the problem is more integrated with the synthesis or generation of a solution. This approach seems more aligned with the recommendation to prototype early and often. This prototyping may take the form of storyboards or master slides with sample content. I look forward to the challenge of crafting a program for nurses and practitioners to apply the mathematical skills I used to teach conceptually. In this situation, it seems to me the teacher in me is more of a scientist whereas the engineer looks forward to the design challenges.
Lawson, B. (1980). How designers think. London: The Architectural Press, Ltd. (Chapter 3: Descriptions of the design process.)