Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Design Thinking Workshop for Schools

From 14 Mar to 17 Mar, Commonwealth Secondary School, in collaboration with Principal's Academy, hosted Dr Maureen Carroll from Stanford University to conduct courses on design thinking to educators in Singapore. The introductory workshop and application workshop was well-received, with about 200 participants per day. Our school then hosted the workshop for W7 teachers and school leaders to gain in-depth knowledge and skills on facilitating design thinking. We even had the opportunity to test out our facilitation plan with the students. In all, it was an exciting and enriching experience for all participants.
Ideation session during the Introductory workshop

Educators discussing their ideas during the introductory workshop

Monday, 22 February 2016

Secondary 2 Design Thinking Challenge 2016

This year, the Secondary 2 students embarked on the challenge to re-design the classroom to meet the needs of their teachers. As the user was their subject teacher, the students were excited to interview them to find out their needs and what problems they encounter in their classrooms. It was an enlightening experience for the students to empathise with their teachers. The students also had the opportunity to brainstorm and prototype their ideas. After each group took turns to present their ideas, get feedback and the class picked the best idea to prototype in their classrooms. We look forward to the results of their ideas!
Students interviewing their teacher, Mr Aidil
Prototyping in Progress

Monday, 16 November 2015

Design Thinking Workshop for Teachers

Our teachers spent 3 hours today to engage in Professional Development in design thinking, as part of our efforts to promote a culture of innovation and empathy in the school. The teachers were split into 2 groups and had to pair up to tackle the design challenge: "redesign the morning experience of your partner". Teachers who have had experience with design thinking paired up with another colleague as their user while new staff had students as their users. Both groups went through each mode of the design thinking process to find and address the needs of their users. It was a fruitful experience as the teachers got to know more about their colleagues' morning routines and the problems they face during morning commutes


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Redesigning the Library using Design Thinking

The English Department embarked on a year-long design thinking process to redesign the library in Commonwealth Secondary School. They identified students and teachers as their users and tried to gain insight into their needs for the library space. Based on their findings, they narrowed down the key features of the library space into 3 core functions. As part of the culminating event, the team presented their key findings and the third iteration of their prototype design to the school leaders today for their feedback and further discussion.

The team shadowed their users to find out how and why they use the library space

Journey map of the different users to gain empathy and to understand the affordances of the space

The team discusses the prototype design with the school leaders

Monday, 6 April 2015

Secondary Two Design Thinking Challenge 2015

This year, the Secondary 2 students embarked on a Design Thinking Challenge related to the school environment. They were tasked to either design a better way to conserve energy in the school, or design a better way to keep the school clean. The students started off with field observations and interviews. They interviewed students, teachers and also school cleaners. The students obtained a lot of information from their subjects and learnt how to empathise with them.

Groups discussing what interview questions to ask their subjects

Students taking turns to interview the school cleaners

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Learning Experience Design (Cont'd)

We continued our journey with Singapore Polytechnic to co create the space for our new Design and Technology studio in September. As we delve deeper into the lives of our students, we begin to uncover unmet needs and tried to find ways to meet them with the new space. For instance, if students wanted to learn collaboratively, could the space provide them this opportunity? Could we allow the space to be open so that students could work independently? These were some questions that we discussed and debated upon in order to come up with some guiding principles in the design of the learning environment. We also considered the furniture for the space. For instance, what type of furniture will allow students to work individually and collaboratively at the same time? How can we accommodate the varying heights of upper and lower secondary students? How can we make the furniture inviting so that students will make use of them? We also spent time prototyping some parts of the space. Using foam boards, we constructed cubicles for teachers in order to obtain their feedback.

Aligning user experience with the design principles in the space

Story boarding the users' experience in the Design and Technology studio

Prototyping the layout of the space using scaled drawings

Prototyping the furniture for teachers