DESIGN THINKING APPLIED TO ONLINE HIGHER EDUCATION: THE CASE OF POSTGRADUATE UOC COURSE “EVALUATION CULTURE”
The new Postgraduate Evaluate for Learning is a collaboration between the Association of Teachers Rosa Sensat and the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), a fully online university, in order to respond to the current concern about the assessment of learning in educational centres. The focus of this program is based on the professional practice, of the problems identified in the day to day of the educational centres. Hence all the subjects facilitate participants with specific tools and content that are applicable to improve the evaluation process.
The subject “Evaluative Culture” is the last of the program. The main objective for students is to analyse and reflect on the concept of an evaluation culture in their educational institution in order to improve. This subject combines individual and collaborative methodology. In particular, the generation of dynamics to share and discuss is encouraged with the experience and contributions of the different participants in order to build a common framework of evaluation culture. In this way, the purpose of the course “Evaluative Culture” is to generate collaborative and online creative ideas.
In this context we have seen the opportunity to innovate and incorporate in our methodology the dynamic of Design Thinking, adapted and abbreviated integrating three dimensions: creative process, participatory process and learning process.
The first dimension is applied to the field of organizations. In our case, that of educational organizations, allows us to rethink our realities, with a more innovative look, to transform our services, processes and strategies. The second dimension applies the technique to review or rethink our centre-level assessment culture, involving the entire educational community in change: students, teachers and families. The third dimension is based on learning from the needs of users, experimenting and testing solutions, to continue learning, valuing what works and what needs to be improved.
The online educational experience that we present begins with a phase of divergence to explore and discover the maximum insights of the problem. The second phase of convergence is to choose some of these insights to define the challenge. And the third phase became of divergence to generate the maximum possible ideas solutions for, afterwards, to converge by choosing one, developing it and prototyping it. It’s configuring work teams for interests, using various templates and guiding the dynamics of generating ideas following the phases of the design thinking methodology: empathy, definition, idea, prototype and validation.
This online educational experience has been highly valued by the students: high level of satisfaction with the methodology used as well as their involvement in the whole process following the guidelines provided. Design Thinking has promoted in the groups the proactivity, the confrontation of difficulties and the creative solution of problems generating positive relational dynamics around the transformation of new ways to work the evaluation in the educational institutions. On the other hand, working this methodology on a virtual basis has been a challenge both for students and teachers who have motivated, fun and encouraged the development of creative techniques throughout the community, which encourages us to continue working Design Thinking as Element of experimental transformation, collaborative, innovative and motivating for new learning.