Well, it’s been a wonderful journey thus far, hasn’t it?
— doug pietrzak (@freshcognate) November 24, 2014
Thanks to everyone for an incredibly rewarding semester of class sessions and for a stimulating project Faire. From my conversations with you since, I know that many of you feel like your colleagues asked thought provoking questions and forced you to refine and clarify your thinking. I’m very sad that time didn’t allow me to personally visit with all of you, but I’m certainly willing to meet with anyone in the days ahead to discuss your work further.
You have two final tasks ahead. The first is to complete and submit your projects, along with a reflective essay. The second is to submit a reflective essay for your participation in our online networked community.
I want to share one further piece of advice. In discussing projects with many of you, I’ve frequently found myself recommending a kind of “three-part” structure for projects, especially those of you that built a thing. The first part is an “Executive Summary” of some kind. This short document/post would briefly set out the context for the project and then highlight the most important insights. The second would be the main media or document component— the research, the slides, the course, the presentation materials, etc. The final piece would be a longer document that explains the work more holistically— provides more background on develop, on methods, and ultimately details the most important findings from the work. That structure isn’t the right answer for every project, but I keep coming back to it.
Part of the point of that structure is to give people a short hook into your work, one that both summarizes the project and highlights the most important findings. Then present the project itself. Then, if someone says, “wow, this is awesome, how do I learn more,” there is a longer document providing more background.
The other thrust of my feedback to folks has been to pause and reflect on the key insights from your work. Many of you are still in the weeds of your thinking, focused on details and particular pieces. As you figure out how to communicate your final project, I’d encourage you to ensure that the most important insights from your design or research are stated clearly and boldly.
If you have any questions, please let me know. Otherwise, have a wonderful holiday break and good luck wrapping up your work across your courses.