Milton High School is a place where there is a lot of success both in and out of the classroom.
What was your original HMW (How Might We) question coming out of the January 14th Design Workshop?
How might we create a community-based experience where all students feel valued?
Tell us about your team's experience with the Empathy phase and the biggest surprises and unexpected insights you found.
We created posters and placed them around the school with the question: When have you felt valued at school? The students were very willing to talk about experiences and share some great stories. Some of the bigger "surprises" were that students felt valued when the teachers made sure that they were learning, and while grades are still very important, they valued learning over a good grade. More importantly, we started hearing teachers asking why they weren't a part of the empathy interviews and students saying that we should be asking the teachers this question. So while we started this with the student as our user, it became clear that we needed to look at the teachers and gain empathy from them.
Tell us about your team's experience with the Design Summit. What stands out most? What will you take with you?
We enjoyed the opportunity to spend some dedicated time to dive into the empathy gained and getting comfortable with the idea that we were going to be changing our user. The chance to build on the ideas of the group and prototype was very powerful. Even more empowering was the groups ability to truly listen to feedback during the testing sessions and make slight variations between users. Overall, the group was able to effectively utilize that time and come back to Milton and really engage the teachers in what has been done and the possibilities moving forward.
What POV (Point of View) statement did you settle on at the Design Summit (at least for now)?
We heard that teachers felt devalued because they were not included in the empathy interviews.
We were amazed to realize that teachers at Milton find value in recognition/inclusion/connections.
It would be game changing if we created an experience at Milton where every teacher feels valued in the way they need it.
Tell us about the prototype you built at the Design Summit. What was it? How did it address your POV? In the testing you did with users, what did you learn?
Our prototype was built around the idea of a "Trading Spaces" opportunity for the teachers. Essentially we would have departments work with each other to redesign each others workrooms during the added teacher days at the end of this school year. At the summit, we presented a developed a skit where the user would be a teacher at Milton and be a part of the redesign of another departments workroom. The user testing was powerful for the group because we really had to get comfortable with listening to feedback and not tell the user what they were supposed to experience.
Tell us about what you're going to do next to continue iterating. What's your action plan? What are you doing on Empathy? What are you doing on Define/POV? What are you planning to do on your prototype?
We have come back to Milton and really started to have the conversations with the teachers and gain empathy from them. In early April we had three days where we held our Design Challenge Chats with the teachers to explain what the team had been doing, where we were in the process, and begin to gain the empathy. We asked teachers to write about when they felt valued (or not) and we also had them brainstorm ideas about things that can bring value to them. We have identified an area in the building that will be our Design Thinking space and continue to build on the things that teachers have shared and continue to iterate. We are in the process of unpacking a lot of what was shared during our lunch chats and will solidify our action plan over the next week.
What other reflections on the process to date and the collaboration with other schools would you like to share?
The opportunity to be involved with this has been powerful and very timely. I believe that Milton can benefit greatly from the work generated during the summit. I know that some of the others schools identified teachers as their users also, so I will be interested to see what they ultimately prototype and test and see the similarities and/or differences to what we ultimately do at Milton.