Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Bias toward action (PROTOTYPE) - Section 4: Pre-mortem analysis


The pre-mortem analysis was another opportunity for me to assess students' divergent thinking skills.  I noticed that many students displayed a "convergent mindset," meaning that they were actively evaluating ideas instead of generating them.  The Annotation Nation activity helped students understand how to conduct the pre-mortem analysis, but a number of students in groups chose to "opt out."  I have prototyped a number of solutions so far, including shout-outs to "Kindergarten Geniuses" (students with wacky, wild, and weird ideas), a divergent thinking paper clip contest (which team can think of the most uses for the paper clip?), and real-life examples (Apple's brand and the iPhone).  Still many students display a want of the One Correct Answer and are uncomfortable generating ideas.  There is a strong student need for a deeper conceptual understanding of divergent thinking and its importance for effective, problem-solving.

  What are alternate learning experiences that will push students to authentically engage with divergent thinking?
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: What are alternate learning experiences that will push students to authentically engage with divergent thinking?
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Bias toward action (PROTOTYPE)

Unit 1: "Unit 0": Engineering design thinking
Lesson 5 of 12

Objective: Student will be able to: 1) conduct a pre-mortem analysis of a solution idea; 2) extract information and synthesize ideas from an engineering design text; 3) articulate the purpose of a "bias towards action" mindset in engineering design thinking; and 4) develop a rapid prototype of a solution idea.

Big Idea: Convergent thinking produces shared ideas that will become prototype solutions to problems. How might we help students assess and develop their ideas as rapid prototypes?

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