How is the course delivered?
Digital technologies used
What factors informed the course design?
Liam recognised that many students were already working in industry and regularly travelling internationally, so the course design needed to be flexible and adaptable. Students needed to be able to work through content at their own pace, yet it needed to be metered to guide them through the course.
Group project work was approached differently. It needed to be directed and structured, not only to keep students engaged and focused but to simulate industry practice.
Design tools for student engagement
To encourage collaboration on group projects and provide students with feedback that was timely and relevant Liam chose technologies that offered synchronous and asynchronous interaction.
Liam negotiated scheduled times with students to meet through YouTube Live, a video conferencing tool that enables synchronous interaction and face-to-face discussion.
These live sessions were used to welcome students and to explain assignment briefs, to check in and provide feedback at critical project milestones and present projects.
YouTube Live sessions were recorded allowing students to review feedback and presentations.
48-hour collaborative workshops (Hackathon / design sprint)
In the design industry, design sprints are frequently used to establish the groundwork for more detailed design work or for the briefing (procurement) of particular design services.
As a major assessment activity, Liam asked students to work collaboratively to produce a humanitarian design solution and pitch their ideas to others using YouTube Live.
Over a period of 48 hours, students are given a design brief, collaborate and share ideas using technologies such as YouTube Live, Slack, and Google Drive, and present their final pitch in a synchronous video presentation.
The graphic below illustrates the process in more detail.
Liam's advice for designing an online course