.Hey all - I taught this lesson last week and it went okay, but I struggled a lot in trying to find good ways to guide my students towards productive brainstorming around users and needs. When brainstorming users, they wanted to give overly vague answers like “teenagers” or “students” or “older people”. When they were brainstorming needs, they tended to brainstorm overly general needs without tying it to the specific users they thought of - eg: “it should be comfortable”, and when I asked why, they would say “everyone likes comfortable things”. I ended up running out of time for the lesson because I needed to focus my students’ ideas a little more - their brainstorms weren’t leading anywhere specific or productive.
One thing I noticed that I think contributed to these overly vague ideas were students were writing 1-2 word ideas - “teenagers”, “comfortable”, “stylish”, “older people” - which I didn’t think were really helping them focus in on ways smart clothing could help solve a societal problem. In the middle of the lesson, I forced all the students to write the sentence “An issue my users have is _________________. My clothing can help by ____________________”, which really seemed to help focus their thoughts into something that could be used in the next steps.
I know this brainstorm process is going to come around again in later lessons and I want to be better prepared to help guide students towards productive, actionable ideas that they can use in their prototypes. Here’s my question: are there any sentence-stem type prompts that teachers have compiled to help focus students as they come up with their ideas? Are there certain types of questions teachers tend to ask during this activity that helps focus student ideas? Or are there any exemplars from this type of activity floating around that I can look at to help me understand what a productive brainstorm session looks like?