Tag Archives: JLS Middle School

JLS Staff Lounge project update

How would you know if it’s working?

Our design goal is to create a space that welcomes teachers and staff and allows them to relax, connect with others, and collaborate with one another. In order to test if the design  works or not, we could do a post-test survey to compare with the pre-test we did before, and possibly an on-site observation, through which we would be able to see the dynamics in the learning space. The criteria for evaluating efficacy include:

1. time: do teachers and staff spend more time in the space after the intervention?

2. people: who comes to the space after the intervention? are more people making use of this space now?

3. activities: what kinds of activities do teachers and staff do in the space after the intervention? how many of them are newly established? does the space allow new           and productive kinds of activity to take place?

4. satisfaction: how do teachers and staff feel about the space after the intervention? do they find the space welcoming? do they feel secure, relaxed, and satisfied? do they enjoy their experience in the space?

5. connections: does the space help teachers and staff to feel a sense of belonging and a community? are new relationships being encouraged and fostered?

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Design Update #5, 5/19

JLS Middle School Flexible Classroom: Katie and Manmeet

Assumptions about ways learners interact with the space:

  • Students – use a microphone while giving a speech, move furniture to set up the room, set up the screen projector, store their backpacks while using the space, form cliques and sit with friends, clean up after use
  • Teachers – reserve the space for use, decide furniture orientation, organize and instruct students to maintain order or encourage participation, ensure student safety and foresee trip hazard, ensure proper ventilation and sunlight for student and self comfort, monitor all students (10 to 100),
  • Parents – Bring in food when volunteering to host events, help clean up the space, ensure student order

Almost all the assumptions about interactions mentioned above can be explored using experience prototype. We plan to design two experience prototypes with the help of 6 volunteers who would be assigned to role play. The play would consist of 4 students, 1 teacher and 1 parent.

The prototype would require the teacher instructing students to rearrange the room in order to conduct a class activity. As middle school children the students would follow instructions but not diligently. All students would work at different pace, would have different attention level and would show a natural tendency to talk among themselves. Next a small class activity such as practicing oratory skills or spelling bee would be performed.

After the classroom activity, the parent would try organizing a lunch session for a group of 100 students (prototyped by 4 students) and later help clean up the space.

Through this experience prototype we would gain a better understanding of the challenges experienced by a teacher, frustration and restlessness experienced by a student and anxiety experienced by a parent. This would help us designers gain empathy for the space users and consider user needs while redesigning the space.


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5/5 – Design Post #3 (Katie & Manmeet)

Who are the learners?

Katie and I are redesigning the Flexible Classroom space at JLS Middle School. There are three different learners using this space for different purposes.

1. Students use the space for club events such as chess competition, knowledge challenge etc.

2. Teachers use the space for weekly staff meetings and classroom activities

3. Parents use this space for parent teacher meeting

Post 1-3 personas that will help focus your efforts to meet their learning needs.  What special needs do they have that create a special point of view?

1. Tim is a 6th grader who loves to play chess and wants to focus while playing chess but likes being surrounded by others (together but alone). Tim is short and has trouble picking up heavy chairs and stacking them up every time to prepare the space for a chess tournament.

Special needs: A space which fosters together but alone feeling, comfortable furniture for 6th graders, easy to move furniture

2. Ms. Smith is a new middle school teacher who wants to collaborate with another teacher in order to jointly run a class activity with two different sections. Ms. Smith wants to brainstorm creative ideas for designing the classroom activity and is looking for space which lets her think out of the box and hopefully run the activity. Later in the afternoon Ms. Smith needs to attend a staff meeting and wants to relax after an exhausting day of teaching middle school kids.

Special needs: A space that fosters out of box thinking, allows classroom activity, comfortable relaxed seating for a young teacher

3. Sharon is a working mom who is curious about Tim’s classroom progress and wants to meet his teacher Ms. Smith to discuss classroom performance. Sharon wants to attend a parent teacher meeting where she can privately discuss Tim’s performance after all the parents have been jointly addressed. Sharon also wants to interact with other parents in order to discuss ideas for parent voluntary activities.

Special needs: A space that invites parents to interact, allows mass address, allows private conversation with teacher or other parents

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