Findings & Impacts Cards



Description

Discussing a vast amount of research with participants that have not read it before is difficult. However, there is an inherent need for new educators to dig into and make sense of research findings in order to understand the reasons for incorporating constructionist or maker education pedagogical practices. The Finding & Impacts cards is a solution to enable educators of varying backgrounds and curricular programs to relate research findings to their practice as well as meaningfully discuss and re-organize them into patterns or groupings. Read More.

Project summary

When we started delivering professional development on Constructionism Maker Education, it was common for educators to be skeptical about the benefits of the practices. If we were to be successful, we knew it would be important to support the practices we introduce with relevant research backing it. As an added complexity, doing professional development with international educators means we may have professionals from an IB program and a IGCSE program in the same workshop. This meant we had to have a curricular program-agnostic approach to presenting the research.

The Findings & Impacts cards summarized key insights about “Makers” and how they view themselves based on the Making & Tinkering: Review of the Literature. For example, one card’s text read “Makers are emotionally invested in their learning” a summary of the accounts such as, students celebrating success, being stressful while working on challenges, and caring deeply about the prototypes they were creating. Professional development workshops would then feature an activity where attendees read through all 54 cards and work as a group to identify patterns they see. While one group may identify attributes of a growth mindset, another may see elements of the IB learner profile, and another may identify levels of expertise. What participants found most impactful about this activity was the ability to process information and associate it to personally relevant educational beliefs.

Roles & Responsibilities

The summary of findings for this project was first started with my colleague Scot Hoffman. We initially used slips of paper cut into strips. After noticing participants struggling with the strips, I using Adobe Illustrator to mockup a playing card in a Cards Against Humanity-style design. We then iterated on the findings wording to increase clarity and breadth.

I went with the Cards Against Humanity-style of design because it lends itself well to stacking and layering (thing solitaire) while not obscuring the text. In addition, the bold color with white text focuses the eyes on the important information without any other design decisions to distract.

Personal Takeaways

This activity with cards gave deep insight into how educators sort research into their schemas. I also thought it was even more impactful that this activity was done after participants had engaged in their first constructionist activity. This led to clear connections between the personal experiences of attendees and the research findings.