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How to empower peer learning in a virtual environment?

KEYWORDS

SERVICE DESIGN | NEED RESEARCH | BLUEPRINT | PROTOTYPING


ABOUT

For this project we worked on translating the need for "peer learning" in a virtual environment into a service. We designed Floc to cater to the need for peer to peer feedback that was absent due to virtual learning. The service creatively caters to Masters students of Design and helps create valuable digital learning through its experience and delivery. 


KEY STAGES

- Discovering a critical need
- Translating Need into feasible Service Idea
- Developing Service Core and Boundaries
- Building Service Structure for Virtual Engagements
- Service Communications, Translation and Choreography
- Service Prototype Alpha Testing




 

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Young Designers Award Finalist 2021

Service Design Category

OVERVIEW

CHALLENGE

In 2021, The students of National Institute of Design, India were suffering from the pandemic and hours of online classes and isolation at their homes. Students wanted to experience their life on campus and be able to engage with their peers beyond their online schedules. Digital Fatigue and the new virtual engagement environment was making real connection impossible.

METHODOLOGY

  • Our team  gathered nearly 100 responses on campus through ballot boxes and online surveys to identify needs of students.

  • 3 key needs emerged from which we prioritized - the need for peer learning on the basis of student votes.

  • 8 qualitative interviews were conducted and 4 User personas were developed for the service.

  • We then conceptualized and choreographed our service with our key offering - community feedback sessions.

  • We prototyped the service components. The prototypes were tested in 2 sessions with 6 students who signed up for our service out of their own interest. We received very positive feedback.

  • You can view a service summary video here.

MY ROLE

In our team of 4, I was invested all the work on field and off field. As it was during the pandemic, our team navigated challenges of remote collaboration and on field data collection from students. My primary contribution was in data analysis, team collaboration and also service orchestration maps and prototype delivery. I played the role of the service provider in the prototyping sessions and project process management.

DURATION

This project took nearly 6 months
from March 2021 till August 2021.

BACKGROUND

This classroom project was developed during the Service Design Module at the National Institute of Design, India. It was conducted in a hybrid mode.

1

EXPLORATION

2

NEED DISCOVERY

3

CORE
MOTIVATIONS

PROCESS

4

SERVICE
PROMISES

5

SERVICE
FORM

6

CHOREOGRAPHY

7

PROTOTYPING

1

EXPLORATION

INTUITIVE NEED MAPPING

An exhaustive brainstorm map of all the needs observed on campus and existing services were laid down based on our intuition and preset knowledge of the campus and stakeholders involved in order to help set the context.

EXPLORATIVE RESEARCH TOOLS

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GRAFFITI WALL

A more public and diverse tool that prompted students to answer

"Your wishlist for a better life on campus".  It was placed strategically near the entrance to the mess in order to collect ample responses from the students.

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INTERVIEWS

Checking student awareness of the most used, essential, impactful, consistent in delivery and services that are not necessary. Studied motivations of students to come to campus. Their expectations versus reality

8 participants

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BALLOT BOX

To understand personal issues students are facing. Identify what they would like the campus to provide them with

30 responses

ASSIMILATED OBSERVATIONS

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KEY EMERGENT NEEDS

 Recreational activities to stay physically and mentally fit
 

Peer Learning
and Engagement

Assurance of Healthcare facilities

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Learning and interacting with peers across disciplines was validated as a primary need area through a campus wide survey

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The need for Peer Learning emerged as the primary direction for a new service.

2

NEED  DISCOVERY

UNDERSTANDING PEER LEARNING

Upon discovering Peer Learning as the need, we spent time to study the various aspects of peer learning and the nature of stakeholders that are present in the peer learning environment.

Modes of Inquiry

- Structured Interviews with Master's Students across India
- Multiple User Journeys were synthesized into 4 paths
- Persona Building out of the 4 paths
- Conducted a Simulation to test demand of peer learning
- We discovered Peer Feedback as the critical missing element
- Further persona specific Peer Feedback oriented Interviews
  conducted to iterate and arrive at the final persona's
- A final survey was floated to test the validity of our persona's
  and peer feedback focus area.

View the detailed user journey breakdowns here

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> ALL USER JOURNEYS 

> USER CLUSTERS 

> USER PERSONAS

USER PERSONAS

DETAILED CHARACTERISTICS

THE CURIOUS

  • The primary mode of learning, grasping, and retaining is Peer Learning. Habit almost to engage in it.

  • Rely heavily on it for their learning in professional space

  • Do not hesitate to approach people and are open to learning. Humble.

  • Seekers of new knowledge that they wish to acquire and can be built upon

  • (Do they have trouble wrt communicating their thoughts and hence are mostly in the receiving mode)

  • They do not always cross-check what they have learned. High trust in the tutor

  • They would mostly know what type of people to look for and make use of any opportunity?

KEY DRIVER

Curiosity to acquire new knowledge and perspectives

KEY DRIVER

INTENT

  • Curiosity to acquire new knowledge and perspectives

INTENT

  • Validate learnings via engagement feedback and suggestions to improve their work

  • Constantly build upon current knowledge 

  • Learn about a new topic which they might find trouble cracking through

Validate self + 

Build on existing 

knowledge

NEEDS

MOTIVATIONS

  • Engaging with people from different backgrounds, who can bring in new perspectives

  • A quicker way of learning that is effective

  • Intrinsic: Professional Growth

Self Development + 

New knowledge +

Perspectives

NEEDS

MOTIVATIONS

  • Need for new information and perspectives

  • Need for validation

  • Need for immediate availability

  • Need for self-development and personal growth

Quick Engagement

+ Learning

PROBLEMS FACED

PROBLEMS FACED

  • Cannot always have access at the right time or things could be left half-way

  • Might end up wasting time

  • Credibility of information

  • Safe space to engage with someone comfortably (reliability)

  • To know and be aware of people's skills and interests so they can approach them 

Lack of access + 

Lack of awareness 

DETAILED CHARACTERISTICS

THE LEARNER

  • PL for them is a way of life. Do not consciously go with the agenda of learning something but know its importance in their overall growth

  • They go with an open mindset and expect the other people to also have the same to engage in healthy discussions. People who are too adamant wrt their ideas throw them off

  • They are ready to change their beliefs if they find enough rationale

  • Look for both-way interaction-- for them, a lot depends on the interaction

  • These are mostly INFORMAL sessions for them

  • There should be a topic that interests them to engage them (situational)

  • It’s the engagement and interaction that matters to them, so space, time etc not an issue

  • Engage outside non-academic topics as well (more emphasis on softer skills maybe)

  • Softer topics can be discussed as many times and won't trigger someone

KEY DRIVER

Curiosity to acquire new knowledge and perspectives

KEY DRIVER

  • Curiosity to acquire new knowledge and perspectives

INTENT

INTENT

Expand Horizons +

Validate Knowledge

  • Able to share their views and know others perspectives based on their experiences (Expanding their horizon)

  • Validate the info they have

NEEDS

MOTIVATIONS

  • Learn something new that they were unaware of :

  • Topics of interest

  • Being able to assess oneself wrt others

New Perspectives

+ New People Engagement

NEEDS

MOTIVATIONS

  • Need for new information and perspectives

  • Need for validation

  • Need for engagement

Learn New Topics  

they were completely 

unaware of

PROBLEMS FACED

  • Missing out on it in Online mode

  • Stagnancy

PROBLEMS FACED

Stagnancy + 

Online Interaction is 

a hindrance

DETAILED CHARACTERISTICS

THE PROFESSIONAL

  • PL for them is important academically (professional growth) as they entirely rely on it for their learnings

  • Dependence on PL is high

  • They are relatively new to their domains and trying to learn as much as they can from their peers

  • Do not have a definite goal of what particularly they want to learn

  • They are trying to learn and unlearn

  • Might mostly be seen in students who are in the first years of master's course

KEY DRIVER

Develop strong bond with people and network 

KEY DRIVER

  • Develop deeper bonds with peers

INTENT

INTENT

Explore + New Experiences + 

Inspiration

  • Explore their domain and know what lies in it -- open to what can come up-- Learn from other's learning and experiences

  • Get inspired and a push

  • Finding the right set of people to connect with, who can help them understand the space

NEEDS

MOTIVATIONS

Companionship +

Belonging

  • Learn something new that they were unaware of :

  • Topics of interest

  • Being able to assess oneself wrt others

NEEDS

MOTIVATIONS

  • Need for companionship (someone who can understand and guide you at this point in life)

  • Sense of belonging

PROBLEMS FACED

People's Experience

+ Network

  • Right people weren't accessible

  • Physical proximity helps them to know people and open up

PROBLEMS FACED

Absent Access + 

Online Interaction is 

a hindrance

DETAILED CHARACTERISTICS

THE SELF - SUFFICIENT

  • PL for them is not a primary mode of learning but something that supplements (adds to) their current knowledge

  • These are mostly the hands-on, maker kinds: need to see the application

  • They engage in it from a skill development, problem-solving pov

  • They try to understand how other people do the same thing that they do but in a different way--so pick up on their approaches and techniques

  • They prefer implementing it immediately in real-time to remember it

  • Do they try to see if there's something they can give back??

  • They usually will approach someone when they need help or have doubts--which could seem like a selfish motive and not everyone will tolerate it again and again

  • Might require a more formal setup for PL

  • Will listen to others but do what they ultimately want

KEY DRIVER

Essential Bonds and Critical Knowledge

KEY DRIVER

INTENT

  • Bonding with people (familiarity). The kind of relationship they have with different types of people also determines what they would approach someone for

Ideation + Brainstorm

+ New Skills

INTENT

  • Learning new skills or refining skills

  • Getting to know newer resources

  • Ideation/ Brainstorm to understand more possibilities

NEEDS

NEEDS

MOTIVATIONS

  • Need for updating and staying relevant

  • Need for the authenticity of information

  • Need for safe space

Comfortably learn

PROBLEMS FACED

  • Do not know whom to approach (need an ice-breaker usually)

  • Too many people can disengage them

  • Availability of people online

PROBLEMS FACED

MOTIVATIONS

Staying up to date

+ Safe space to talk

  • To be able to understand a new method or technique

  • Sense of comfort they share with other people

  • If someone is willing to share

Can't approach peers on their own +

Online is a separator

The Learner emerged as the primary service stakeholder we will design for.

3

CORE MOTIVATIONS

CORE CONTEXT

Once the primary persona was identified, we started contextualizing the service's key offerings or pillars of delivery based on the 'Learner' Persona.

CONTINUOUS AND CONSTANT FEEDBACK

CONNECT WITH
PEERS

SEAMLESS COMMUNICATION

4

SERVICE PROMISES

UNDERSTANDING
PEER FEEDBACK


After defining the service core and the pillars we wish to build, we studied the landscape of peer feedback systems that exist in India.

This helped us to understand the current Market and benchmarks that we need to meet market standards.

We followed this study up with a quick qualitative interview with students who had the "learner" persona and validated our learnings from them in the form of a general survey with all students.

THE CURRENT PLAYERS

IN PEER LEARNING SERVICES ARE:-

MARKET
LANDSCAPE STUDY

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VALUE PROPOSITION

PEER LEARNING THROUGH
EFFECTIVE PEER FEEDBACK
FROM PEER COMMUNITY

FEEDBACK

CORE PROMISES

COMMUNICATION

SUPPORT

COMMUNITY

5

SERVICE FORM

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CONCEPT

A 'Peer to Peer Support Group' digital platform that believes in the power of Constructive Peer Feedbacks to make academic design projects more robust and holistic. It would harness diverse perspectives from the rich peer network within NID to bring clarity and confidence to student’s project work in a timely manner.

SERVICE ARCHETYPES

We designed our service to embody
the following three archetypes. 

FRIEND