Field Research Method
A situated ethnographic research method using observation and think-aloud interviewing techniques to document and reveal for analysis the underlying contextual goals, tasks, resources, and processes involved in work and learning.
For User Study 1 we will use a contextual inquiry user research method to explore current CMU student portfolios practices by observing, listening, and asking questions in the context of the participant's work space or learning setting. The aim is to gain insights into students' portfolio creation goals, tasks and workflow processes in order to help envision, integrate or improve a portfolio system design. Each team will need to do one contextual interview per person. Decide how to divvy up the user study data collection and start recruiting participants early. Try to recruit students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds with varying levels of "portfolio expertise." Small teams of two are less intimidating, so split observation and interviewing responsibilities per protocol suggestions below.
PART ONE – CONTEXTUAL INTERVIEWS
Understanding users goals, tasks, work process and practices
Observing user gestures, actions, and interactions
Documenting tools and resource use
[ ] Field Note Sheets
[ ] Audio/ video recorder or screen capture application
[ ] Camera + batteries
Understanding users underlying motivations needs and work flows
Asking the users to think aloud about their process and practices
Expanding your understanding of the design situation from others’ perspectives
[ ] Semi-structured question list – aimed at getting users to talk about issues of interest
[ ] IRB consent and media use form
Hackos, J.T. and Redish, J.C. (1998). Chapter 10 – Conducting Site Visits: Honing your Interviewing Skills, In User and task analysis for interface design, John Wiley and Sons: New York.
Digital Portfolio Learning Ecosystem Map Assignment
Due: 9/20 for in-class review
Ecosystem mapping is a visual way to analyze the interactions and interdependencies betweens users and other actors and entities in a system. The primary goal of this activity is to give the newly formed teams time to create a shared, external representation of how you would collectively map the open portfolio design challenge space as you currently envision it.
Below is a starting list of primary and peripheral users, and stakeholder entities your group can draw on to think about mapping key interactions and relationships that would occur and influence an implemented open portfolio system. In thinking about your map you may want to consider how to represent changing contexts of portfolio use and learner roles as they move across settings, or focus on the learning interactions between users that a portfolio platform/device could support. Your team will need to decide how you best want to represent open portfolios as a design space.
Identify and situate Primary Users :
Add Peripheral Users and interactions :
Consider Stakeholders / Stakeholder Entities with vested interests and influence
How does learning flow through the system?
Think about locating opportunities for enhancing learning through portfolio interactions that support …
Adult/Peer critique, Inspiration, Design Precedent Seeking, Iteration, Articulation, Reflection, Collaboration, Modeling expert/professional practices, Opportunity Brokering, Identity building, Participation in Communities of Practice Vocation, Expertise seeking.
**Create a map in a digital form that graphically represents your group's abstracted view of the actors involve, and portfolio mediated interactions and linkages that would occur in an open portfolio learning ecosystem. Upload the digital file to Box folder > Assignment 5
As a group discuss what aspects of your open portfolio learning ecosystem map suggest an interesting design challenge space. Generate a running list of problems you could imagine trying to solve based on what you know about user needs and contexts. You may want to try the now classic "How might we...?" question formulation for some of your problem statements to brainstorm possible directions towards a solution.
**In class on Tuesday each team will be asked to informally present their maps, share some of problem statements generated and some early ideas for possible design solutions that came out of your group brainstorming session. So plan to show your map and give a brief (< 5min) conversational summary of your group's exploratory discussions.
Supplemental Reading (Optional)
Design Process Models (Selected)
Design Process Sketches (Student)
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