Future Factory
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Future Factory

Ambrose and Dirksen Models & Theories

The Dirksen reading was really interesting as it included many graphs and models that helped understand the theories of what the author was describing. Especially the bike metaphor really stayed with me because I was able to think back to many occasions in my own past experiences and even current ones where I kept on feeling like I made mistakes or progress in projects kept on meeting obstacles. It feels like you aren’t progressing but in reality, you still are in the macro view. The Ambrose reading although had different graphic models compared to Dirksen, shared many similarities in the meaning behind the models. I agree with both authors emphasis on practice and its importance. Through directed and well-planned practice, a learner can then apply it to outside skills. It reminds me of what my high school orchestra teacher would always tells us, “practice doens’t make perfect, it makes BETTER.”

The methods of practice in each readings describe how practice is the key for learners to understand the wider application of the knowledge in the future. This is useful to know as our team is currently having trouble narrowing on the specific method of teaching how people can learn systems thinking — something very broad and abstract.

Dirksen described the intricacies of practice methods including how feedback should be given frequently over shorter periods of time so that learners are not burnt out and overwhelmed with information. I think this would be of use to us especially since systems thinking is such a massive topic with many different compartments to it. Giving the learner a larger span of time with feedback specific to them would be helpful.

This leads to his next topic on games, where the beauty of using games is to have these short/medium/long-term goals that create more variety in the pacing of learning. For our teaching of systems thinking, we have also thought about gamifying the experience and if we do choose to go down this route, we should consider having the goals have different speeds to give the learner a balance of intensities.

The Ambrose reading also stresses on the cyclical aspect of practice and feedback that leads to the desired goal. Learning comes in “waves” and there needs to be “relax” with “tension” and “set back” with “proceeding forward” to create a sustainable learning style. I think this is really interesting, and would be something that we could further explore how to design for in our project. How can we create a learning experience that “flows”, that gives stages for the learner to feel challenged, but also stages that are reflective and make them feel like they have gained new abilities.




A guided experience on systems thinking and designing for the future.

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Patricia Yu

Patricia Yu

Industrial/Experience Designer, Human Computer Interactions and Physical Computing at Carnegie Mellon University

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