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Archive for the ‘idea’ tag

Innovation in Evaluation: Good webzine and IDEO initiative

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IDEO partnered with Good magazine to cultivate and explore the relationship between innovation and evaluation. They are running a blog based opinion column: Innovation in Evaluation.

Some ‘good’ discussion going on there, in blogpost and the comments. For example, Sally Madsen wrote, ‘How Might We Celebrate Learning through Evaluation?‘. To quote:

Why do we evaluate? Sometimes it’s for reflective validation: qualifying the success of a program after it is complete. Other times it’s for active learning: seeing what is working well and what could be improved, and using this insight to change things for the better.

Evaluation for validation has an important role in comparing different approaches: Which approach has the most impact? Which gives the best value for money? How can this affect strategy moving forward? The downside of this type of evaluation is that it often doesn’t produce conclusions until months or years after the actual project has ended—when the opportunity to change course or affect the project outcome is gone. Evaluation for active learning, on the other hand, allows you to take action as soon as a problem is identified. In design and innovation, evaluation for learning is a natural and essential part of the process.

Written by anol

September 7th, 2009 at 5:25 am

Posted in Big Picture

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Creative Elegance: The Power of Incomplete Ideas

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Matthew E. May is the author of “In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing“. A quick synopsis of his concept on elegance of incomplete ideas is published as a change this manifesto, “Creative Elegance: The Power of Incomplete Ideas” [PDF]. To quote -

It is nearly impossible to make it through a typical day without exchanging ideas. Whether deciding on something as simple as a restaurant for a long overdue night out, or as complicated as the design of an entirely new product, we are forever involved in sculpting and selling our creative thought. Conventional wisdom says that to be successful, an idea must be concrete, complete, and certain. But what if that’s wrong? What if the most elegant, most imaginative, most engaging ideas are none of those things?

Experiencing elegance is nearly always this profound. The unusually simple yet surprisingly powerful nature of any elegant this or that gives us pause, and the impact changes our view of things, often forever. Elegance delivers the power to cut through the noise. It can shake markets. It can change minds, and mindsets, as you’ve just witnessed.

When I read the manifesto, couple of things came to my mind. First, the context of visual abstraction level in comic books and use of graphics in learning contents. It’s an eternal dilemma for comic book artists of different genre- what should be the abstraction level of the illustrations? How much it should mimic reality? (Check out Scott McCloud’s TED presentation on understanding comics). Second thing came to my mind, this is THE reason why we almost always get disappointed by watching the silver screen rendering of a favorite novel. Words are the ultimate level of abstraction from visuals, which allows us to construct an image in our mind from the ‘incompleteness’ of the words. After reading a novel when we watch the movie version, a cognitive dissonance is inevitable.

What kind of abstraction level is OK for learning content design?

Written by anol

May 7th, 2009 at 9:49 am