Wednesday, October 1, 2008

evaluation + more evaluation

after reading the class evaluations from last week, the teaching team has a few observations for you:
[1] most students saw great value in working in teams, though some expressed concern about group dynamics and the ability to find time to meet as particular challenges of this group student remarked "before this charrette, i considered myself a loner; now i think that working with people opens you up to new ideas." another student suggested that letting go and being open to the ideas of others represented a strategy for group work. finally, some students expressed concern their frustration at establishing a meeting schedule for the group only to show up at the appointed time and have others in the group show up late or not at all. in the end, all of these group dynamics are about communication and the spirit of inquiry, both foundations for this studio...and the practice of design.
[2] in thinking about what types of information students wished to hear more about, they noted that explicit information on public speaking would be good as well as how to get our work into the community. both of these issues raised will be addressed explicitly in the coming weeks.
[3] students had many ideas about changes they would propose in the world including something as vague and important as world peace, but also broad topics of sustainability, equality, and integration were mentioned. moreover, students suggested that water provision systems, transportation systems, and university/community relations illuminated other areas of work about social change through design. one student summed it up by writing: "we are a generation of great thinkers but lazy people and it is up to us to actively engage the world around."
[4] students identified the wealth of resources around them (peers, teaching team, clients, human beings) as their greatest surprise, as well as shock and concern over the quality of public transportation and the number of people who rely on it as a sole mode of transportation.
[5] on this issue of the class blog and individual blogs, all students (except one) believed the process of sharing information outward in the digital realm through the blogs to be a significant positive for the studio. some queried about the audience for the blogs beyond faculty and students, many noted challenges technically in getting information up in a timely way. some students requested more analysis of student work, more summary comments as a way to recognize relevant and engaging work in the studio and the community. importantly, one student noted that one's world should be balanced from this digital realm by looking at physical work in the studio. the teaching team believes this to be an exemplary practice.

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