Interaction Design

Developing a class is a kind of interaction design. There are certain behaviors that I'd like to reward. For example, I'd like students to spend time regularly studying and experimenting at home so class time can cover more material. Also, I'd like students to ask as many questions as possible. Chances are that if someone is stuck on something others will be too.

There are also some behaviors that I'd want to dissuade, like a tardy arrival which can break others' focus.

Grades are the ultimate stick and carrot. But they're also an external pressure that distracts from the more powerful intrinsic motivation I'd hope to induce.

Let us consider more subtle tactics. How can we establish a rhythm of deadlines and requirements (our rules), so that each student feels engaged instead of bored or overwhelmed? How can we devise a class that promotes interaction among students such that variations in skill are matched with appropriate challenges? How can we expand each students' individual interests into opportunities for learning for everyone? And how can we measure our progress; how can we make sure that everyone is learning?

On our first day of class, in a sort of meta exercise, I propose we fine tune the course policies together. We will devise a system of incentives that will govern our behavior throughout the semester so that by class' end we will have enriched our portfolios with compelling work, accrued marketable skills, and joyfully evolved our aesthetic practices.