Planning for success 1: Brainstorming

NoTosh Design Thinking isn’t just about post-it note walls and the unleashing of crazy ideas, the key behind teaching everything from Shakespeare to Service Skills is great planning.

In our experience, many project-based examples of learning provide participants with ‘essential questions’ that only require *convergent* thinking – ie. the ability to give a ‘correct’ answer to a standard question – as opposed to *divergent* thinking which generates creative ideas by exploring as many solutions as possible. Thinking about what’s essential from the learner’s perspective is critical to divergent thinking, allowing us to view and understand projects from multiple perspectives, to discover and develop new connections and concepts that would otherwise be missed.

We’ve developed our own Brainstorming Grid as a key tool for the Immersion phase of the NoTosh Design Thinking process. It helps leaders think out of the box about resourcing a topic and capitalising on existing, but perhaps underused resources. Why not have a go at completing this with a copy of your goals in front of you – and remember to start off by stating what the core topic content might be.

Use the grid to:

  • Work out whether your topic is going to be rich enough… or too rich and needing to be broken down
  • Think through all the potential resources
  • Assess whether you need to make any changes to your topic to better represent your goals
  • Predict how long your topic will take to complete within the timeframe of the whole project - Check and measure success against both core and tangential goals

Download the Brainstorming Grid PDF - we recommend printing it out in A3 or A2 format and playing along with some colleagues. Contact us if you need more help or information and then have a look at Planning for success 2: Collating in our LAB.

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Ewan McIntosh

Pack up your clutter to unpack your learning

Planning for success 2: Collating

How do you add detail to a plan without taking away from student-led learning?

Making connections with hexagonal thinking

Synthesise in a visible way with your whole team

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