CEP 812: Wicked Problem Project


Keeping education relevant is a wicked problem. The New Media Consortium (NMC) highlighted this truth in their 2016 report on Higher Education. Our team has explored this issue with the hopes of designing possible solutions to make progress on this multifaceted problem. There is no perfect answer here, but there are opportunities for success; and some educators have already found success in their methods. We have looked to both successes and failures in our own experiences, along with the experiences of our peers and researches to build a case for effective strategies.

Thanks to the wisdom of Warren Berger, inquiry is the cornerstone of our wicked problem project. Along with a mindset on constant questioning, our process closely mirrored that of the Stanford Design Model.  We began by writing out 30 questions related to our topic of keeping education relevant. Empathy was a key component as we designed these questions and dwindled them down into 3 strong questions. Our chosen questions can be found on my wicked problem infographic. Continuing through the design process, we more accurately defined our problem for the key stakeholders and spent some valuable time ideating before meeting to discuss possible prototypes to put to the test.

As with most challenging problems, the design process for solutions to keep education relevant may never end. The solutions we outline address a mere fraction of the entire problem. We must continue to collaborate as a global society to keep education relevant. I truly believe that education can resolve many of the problems we face in this world. To do this, educational systems must strive to reach their fullest potential in relating content, pedagogy and technology to the real world. We may never reach the highest potential, but if we don’t ask questions or open up to new methods, how else will we make progress on this wicked problem?

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