Making your topic more topical

Giving the right title to a topic or project can be key to igniting imagination. As part of the Immersion phase of the NoTosh Design Thinking process, we encourage you to develop what we refer to as a ‘generative’ topic title – quite simply, one that generates interests and promotes higher order thinking. How can you reframe an existing or traditional topic? How can you tie different subject areas together? A generative topic title can really help to unearth new avenues of research and rich, engaged learning.

Try this for yourself:

  • Gather some colleagues together to discuss your topic
  • Share a traditional topic title and subsequent goals
  • Share some ideas for new provocative titles
  • Record each idea on a large sheet of paper
  • Turn any questions into statements
  • Share your ideas with a different set of colleagues to gain fresh perspective
  • Discuss which title ideas you like most and why

Once you’ve narrowed down your title ideas, scrutinise your favourites by asking:

  • Does it pass the ‘So what?’ test?
  • Is it epic and meaningful, not small and ‘fake’?
  • Does it cover more than just one subject or topic?
  • Does it spark your natural curiosity?
  • Is there enough potential material in which your team or students can immerse themselves?
  • Is it accessible and feasible for everyone to engage with?

And the bonus question… When you share your generative topic title do people make that ‘Oooo, mmm’ sound? You’ll know it when you hear it!

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Ewan McIntosh

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