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How can we introduce a new set of standards and practices to educators?

Gamification through a deck of cards to introduce a new developmental framework for schools

The challenge

The task at hand was to create a tool that will help in the easy adoption and understanding of a new set of foundational set of principles, introduced by an international educational organisation for its affiliated schools, to ensure quality and fidelity in the implementation of its educational programmes.

My design process

At the beginning was a framework with four levels in a nested hierarchy. First came the foundational principles, then the standards to be followed, then practices that included references to implementation and finally requirements that were more specific and refined measures of implementation of the relevant programme. The educators had to work through this hierarchy to create their own school's strategy for development.

I conducted initial user research with a group of educators in schools and found out how they worked with the current framework. It was a sort of checklist and they had to ensure compliance.

The new framework demanded a different modus operandi. I brainstormed with the curriculum expert who created the framework to understand what was required of the educators and school leaders- what were the rules of engagement with this framework and how could they navigate through this in the most engaging and easy manner. There were four areas they could work with to create themes: Learning, Purpose, Environment and Culture. These themes would help the schools create their developmental paths.

After ideation, we worked on creating a game concept around this process of creating themes. Our goal behind this was that the user should be able to create a theme or motif with certain constraints and then design and develop this concept to an appropriate digital or physical product for the users to engage.

The framework sections were numbered in such a manner to ensure that they were suitable for developing into digital systems later.

To start with a lo- fi prototype that may help in user testing, I created four different sections to represent each of the framework sections and printed them on card decks.

Some cards from the Learning and Purpose section

I worked with the curriculum expert to create a set of introduction and instructional cards. These were printed and used in a number of workshops with educators from schools where they were asked to create these themes( called motifs in image below) in groups and share their feedback.

The card explaining the idea of 'motif' (theme) and the rules of the game

The instruction cards and the face cards of each section of the framework

In the field

The card decks were improved upon after feedback from different workshops conducted and now are being used as a aid to introduce schools to this new set of standards and principles in the professional development workshops conducted by the organisation.

Educators in a workshop using it to construct their schools developmental themes

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