Three solutions, consultations, UM break, and more

Jeff Kupperman's picture

Three potential solutions due Friday

After you have framed your problem from the point of view of your persona (due tonight), your key task for this week is to create at least three different, contrasting solutions that could address the problem for that person in some way. At this point, the goal is to generate as many different kinds of potential solutions as possible -- withhold judgment about your own ideas, and don’t worry about feasibility yet. Dream big!

You don’t have to limit yourself to three solutions (more is great!), and you can always change and add to them later, but be sure to have at least three posted on your proposal document by the end of the day this Friday, March 1. You only need a brief description (a few sentences) with key points for each potential solution. Right now, having a lot of potential solutions is more important than elaborating any of them in great detail.

As you work on your three solutions, reference the Imagine cards in the Design Mindset deck, especially cards I5 and I6.

(From the EDUC 362 syllabus) Addressing the Problem: Three Potential Solutions

Having defined the problem you intend to address, this step provides you the opportunity to show your ingenuity and breadth of perspective in addressing the problem at hand. We ask that you detail three possible solutions to the problem you’ve identified, and post them in your proposal document.

In outlining your three possible solutions, we want to see evidence that you’ve thought expansively about the nature of the problem, and that you’ve put effort into describing each potential solution clearly enough that each one is credible and distinct from the others. We’re also looking here for evidence that you understand the nuances of the issue you’re addressing well enough that you could articulate solutions that utilize different starting points.

Make sure that you allow yourself enough space to credibly describe each of your potential solutions, and note that you’ll ultimately be choosing one of these solutions, or combining them into the core of your actual proposal.

Proposals are living documents

While the proposal design process has specific milestones and deadlines, keep in mind that your proposal is a living document -- you should be adding bits and pieces as you go, without worrying about your ideas being polished or finished yet, and going back to modify earlier work as needed.

If you are working with a partner be sure you are both editing the document equally. You will be evaluated, in part, on the contributions you make under your own login.

Consultations and service

If you haven’t already started to do so, now is the time to find people who can provide consultations -- people with expertise and/or special experience with the problem you have identified. As you look for these consultants, take advantage of the connections you are making in your service activity -- you may find people in the organization who have the expertise you need, or who can suggest others who do.

When you talk with your consultants, tell them about the way you’ve framed the problem, including your persona and POV statement. Ask them for an honest reaction, including (especially) counter-arguments. Then ask who else you should talk with about the issue.

After you have done a consultation and while it is still fresh in your mind, add a brief summary in the “Consultations” section of your proposal document. Every proposal should have at least three consultations.

Continue conversations

While you continue to craft your proposals, be sure to continue to have back-and-forth conversations, both in the comments threads on proposal documents and in free-standing discussions in the topic areas. That means responding to each other, not just the initial post!

UM Break

EDUC 362 students: As you know, UM’s break is March 2-10, and you are not required to post during this period, but you may continue online activity if you wish. If you do take that week off entirely, you will be expected to post right up through March 1 and start right up again on March 11. Leaving early and/or coming back late is NOT an excuse to take more than a week off your MSC work.