VIII. Knowledge and Skill Acquisition

Team Sustainability: Catherine Yochum, Catherine Wang, Winter Clark, Willetta Wisely

After conducting many different knowledge and skill acquisition activities based off of our readings, our team has a firmer grasp of what knowledge and skill goals our users can achieve with our learning experience.

Wiggins + McTighe’s Six Facets of Understanding

Our group’s first round of doing the six facets was with random examples, and that was quite fun to apply the six facets to aspects of our everyday life. Topics such as calculus and Tiger King were brought up, as well as city-planning and the issues with suburbia.

We then dived into the topic of sustainability. While the first three facets (explain, interpret, apply) were topics that we have talked about before in the 4MAT Diagram, our team found the latter three facets more interesting. That was because these facets were able to sort ideas that we already had into their functions.


Our team knew that our experience is supposed to help people think more closely about their own choices, but it was interesting to see it in a more critical lens. Our users are often faced with company green washing or people around them that make poor sustainability decisions, so we want them to be equipped with the knowledge that will help them see things differently and act differently.


Empathy is also a facet that we want our users to practice and value. Our learning experience is focused on people’s values specifically the DIFFERENT kinds of values out there. If our user’s want to make their own independent decisions without being judged, they shouldn’t quickly judge other people’s sustainability decisions as well.


Having self-knowledge is the final and honestly most important facet of the six, because knowing oneself better leads to a change of behavior and mindset. Users also learn about how they learn: am I learning from the bad habits I see around me, do I learn because I’m motivated by external factors or my own values, etc. Finally, self-knowledge cultivates compassion for oneself. Instead of berating themselves because they made a bad decision or aren’t knowledgable enough, user can take a step back to evaluate their decisions and recognize that lifestyle change takes a lot of time and effort.

SET Learning Experience

Our team played the game Set, and through this quick game session, we were able to gain a few insights about how we should craft our own learning experience.

First, learning experiences can be quite simple! If users can understand the rules fast, they can more easily immerse themselves and participate.

This game subtlely incorporates feedback: after a player finds a set, other players double check to see if the set is correct. This is helpful to observe because we been trying to figure out who or what is giving the feedback to our users for our sustainability experience.

There was an unexpected outcome: For players that were in a slump/had trouble coming up with sets, the whole group became happy for them when they finally found one! This shows that cooperation and community can be formed quite spontaneously and can be a useful tool to make the members of the community feel included and supported.

Design Jam

The design jam was a useful exercise that helped boost our creative juices and allowed us to explore the different game elements we could include in our experience.

We first started jotting down notes and ideas on a white board. Then, we became interested in a board game idea where a player goes through their life through this game board and see how their sustainability decisions change their surrounding environment. We used plastic gems as game tokens, different figurines to represent people with different values, and paper cut outs as game events. We also moved around wooden blocks to show the environment changing due to the user’s decisions. We imagined a Game of Life concept, except it’s focused on sustainability.

Through this exercise, we learned that it’s important to show progress visually, whether that’s collecting tokens or showing a player piece move through the board. We also liked having the figurines represent different personas, which gave us the idea that perhaps different players have different win conditions depending on their unique values.

Some more notes we took about our design jam game:

Moving Forward

For our next steps, Catherine Y. came up with the idea of shadowing our peers while they make daily choices such as shopping or recycling. This way, we can understand some of the concrete decisions that people make as well as understand the different values that real people hold.

Also, as we move deeper into the semester, our team should start to figure out more concrete logistics of our gameified experience, such as what exact form it will take and what is the user flow. We will most likely make a flow chart of the different decisions we end up using in our learning experience.



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