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Posts from the ‘803 Internship’ Category

Nanowrimo: Day 7

November 9, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

Have a mentor. Be a mentor. Party.

Over the course of the past three weeks, I have been engaged in another massive undertaking (depending on who you happen to ask at any given time)¬†somewhat tied into my 803 course, somewhat tied into my own personal interest, and unequivocally tied into my day-to-day job as a program dean. The initiative is called (again, depending on who you ask or even when you happen to ask me….I know, total negative points on the whole branding consistency thing and I am even a practicing designer who generally is the one who is hyper conscious of all these inappropriate naming vagaries!!)¬† “Mentor Challenge,” “Mentor Mod,” or the much more pedestrian “Design Club for Mod 11.”

No matter what you call it, the basic idea is that for the last three weeks (and for one more…total of four) students in my own undergrad graphic design program who opt in have been paired with either a professional designer as a mentor or a student a bit further along in the program and together they navigate through a design-thinking IDEO-inspired challenge. The challenge is very real-world for them in general and me in particular and involves them investigating the question: How can we help students, after a few months into the in online graphic design program, feel less overwhelmed with their courses and less disconnected with the online course experience?

Each week students and mentors are tasked with exploring this question by using a different phase of the Design Thinking or Human Centered Design Process made popular a little while back by the industrial design and innovation firm, IDEO. The idea is that by engaging in this endeavor, students will not only get a sweet experience with a design professional but also get exposed to some much higher level thinking/problem solving skills. Unlike the usual school projects, for Mentor Mod students will not be creating a “thing” or physical artifact rather they will try their hand at the back story thinking/researching/brainstorming that often is truly responsible for changing things from a much more systems level place.

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