IV. How we used McCarthy’s 4MAT System
Wiletta Wisely, Catherine Wang, Catherine Yochum, Winter Clark
During Wednesday’s class, our team used the 4MAT exercise to organize our ideas through different motivations: is the idea teaching the what, why, how or how to take it further (a.k.a. apply)?
The activity itself is a good reminder that our designed learning solutions should be multi-faceted and tackle different areas. It is difficult to act in a sustainable manner if the user doesn’t have their ‘why’ or have a strong grasp on the ‘what’.
We first took a look at our preferred states and the tags we assigned them with (motivation, skills, environment, etc.). We tried to arrange them in the inner circle while coming up with some new ideas, such as “designing a method to help our users imagine a future without taking sustainable action” in the practice category or “teaching someone the right moment to lead a collective sustainable action” in the knowledge + practice categories.
We then basically took the learning gaps we came up with in the previous class and organized them around the outer circle. Due to shortage of class time, we didn’t have a lot of time to discuss the outer circle and how we placed everything.
To be honest, our group didn’t gain too many new insights from this activity. This was mostly due to having a pretty vague topic, so we were cautious in jumping into a specific topic too deeply. Therefore, we had difficulty connecting different post-it notes together and have them gather around a specific sustainability topic. However, we started to think more about the decisions our users have to make everyday and how we can leverage that to change a repeated behavior or mindset.
A day later, our team met up to narrow down our topic. Catherine Y. came up with the idea of picking specific scenarios, such as grocery shopping or nighttime routine, where the users make choices that are either sustainable or not sustainable. We each wrote a short blurb on what our new topic is, and we are excited to share this progress with the class on Tuesday. :)
With our new idea, we try tackling the different quadrants of the 4MAT cycle. For example, we want to provide not just one but 3–4 scenarios so our user can use their knowledge and practice on applying it to different situations. We also want to provide some ‘what’s’ so that the users are making informed decisions instead of us saying “Oh, that’s bad. Trust us, just do this instead.” Finally, although we haven’t decided exactly how this will work, we hope that our learning experience directly or subliminally projects a message of ‘why’: once you change the way you live your daily lives, what sort of effect will that leave on the planet? Will these choices lead to a more guiltless and fulfilling life?
Many questions are still unanswered, but we believe we are going in the right direction (for now).