Frame Your Understanding

Now that you’ve broken your design challenge down in different ways, you can frame what your team knows about your design challenge, but more importantly, start to uncover what you want to learn. Through discussion, and the creation of a project pitch,  your team can focus on topics and questions you want to answer during the Explore phase.


With your team, focus your discussion around the following topics:

  • The experience of your users and how they are impacted
  • The systems, processes, or environments that impact your challenge
  • Different contexts outside of education that share aspects with your design challenge (such as personalization in education vs. healthcare) and strategies they use to solve for that challenge
  • Causes and effects of the problem
  • Potential constraints, barriers, or impediments to progress
  • Potential opportunities for progress or change to happen

This list of topics or questions will help you with subsequent activities (such as those in Explore), so be sure to record it or take notes.

Project Pitch

Once your discussion is complete, use the following template to craft a project pitch. This will help your team introduce your project to others, such as your colleagues, students, administration.

_______________________ [Group name] will be tackling _______________________ [design challenge]. Currently, _______________________ [description of current situation]. The group decided to take action because _______________________ [why it’s important].

Time Needed

45 minutes

Capture each individual thought, question, or piece of information

This can either be done as an open conversation, or with each person writing their own thoughts before having a larger discussion. Either way, make sure you are capturing each individual thought, question, or piece of information on its own post-it note to facilitate sorting or grouping similar notes. You don’t have to get everything right - this is just about starting to get your collective knowledge out into the open.

Take note of assumptions or biases

As you are discussing, try to recognize, test, and take note of assumptions or biases that may be embedded in your team’s thinking. If there are points of conflict, take note of those as well.

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