To help designers to generate and develop ideas based on input from a wide variety of people.
Generally at least two class periods, one to set up the poll/survey and one to gather and analyze results
Whole class or small groups
WHAT is Crowdsourcing?
Crowdsourcing is a method of gathering information on a specific question from users and/or experts. The method frequently manifests itself in the form of a poll or forum question; frequently crowdsourcing is performed on-line.
WHY use Crowdsourcing?
Crowdsourcing allows design teams to tap into unknown resources for answering specific questions. Posting questions to discussion forums or on specific polling sites with “expert” audiences can allow design teams to get insights from much wider audiences—national and international.
HOW to use Crowdsourcing?
Numerous online resources facilitate crowdsourcing:
- craigslist.org allows “general” or topic-specific postings
- Yahoo!Answers is a site specifically geared for posting questions with specific audiences
- Uclue.com allows posting with payment-based response and expertise
- Google facilitates spreadsheets in “form” formats; these can be distributed in lists for a do-it-yourself approach.
Sample Lesson (2 class periods)Materials:
Poster board, markers and other fun visualsClass Period 1
As a class you will be crowdsourcing from the cafeteria. The first step in the process is to determine what you want your question to be. If you are already working on a design challenge that lends itself to a crowdsourcing prompt use that, if not, as a class brainstorm a good prompt. If you are working in the school cafeteria some good prompts might be:
How can we improve the process of getting food?
How can we improve the food?
How can we improve the atmosphere in the cafeteria?Design and create poster:
As a class design and create a poster that you will put up in the cafeteria asking the prompt you have chosen. Also decide on a way to record feedback. This can be in the form of a feedback box or simply markers for students to write directly on the poster, or any other creative ideas that your class comes up with.Install Poster:
Place the poster in a high traffic visible place in the cafeteria. Once great place is next to the line to get food since people will be waiting there anyway.Class Period 2
Take down poster:
After the poster has been installed for however long you have decided (usually one week works well), take it down and bring it to classRecord and analyze findings:
have students record all of the ideas. It might be interesting to sort them into categories and determine which if any are ideas that they want to move forward with and prototype.Debrief:
Ask students some of the following questions:
What did we learn from this process?
How was it helpful in generating more ideas?
What surprised you about the process?
What might be other situations in which you could use crowdsourcing?
What would you do differently if you had it to do again?
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