Hannah Jiang

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Week 12 – Update

In the past week, I did more research on adults learning and storytelling. I also tried to list all the questions I should be able to answer in order to clarify my thoughts on this project.

Design Statement

I am designing a digital platform for adults to learn knowledge tangentially through engaging stories.

Questions and Answers

1. What is the goal?

  • The goal of this project is to get people to increase their knowledge through entertaining stories. I’m using this project as a start point to explore how to crack the rigid form of current online education.
  • 2. What kind of learning?

  • This project will focus on an increase in knowledge that people get interested in after consuming the stories. It will not focus on skill-based knowledge for practical use (at least for now).
  • 3. What kind of knowledge?

  • The type of knowledge will be similar to what Wikipedia has, which contains information that helps people get a general understanding of certain concepts.
  • 4. For whom?

  • The content will be accessible to a diverse group of people with a focus on adults who are willing to spend their free time more meaningfully and beneficially.
  • 5. What is it comparing against? / Who are the potential competitors?

  • Platforms like YouTube and Netflix that are designed to keep people engaging with their content as long as possible although it may not have any positive impact on people’s lives(e.g. some people spend hours watching prank videos).
  • Wikipedia – The knowledge this project is carrying will be based on Wikipedia, but instead of putting everything on a long page I will break the content into pieces and merge them into a story.
  • 6. How do people encounter the stories?

  • Land on the platform directly by searching for related stories.
  • Click on the story shared by their friends on social media.
  • 7. What are the challenges?

  • The affordance of the interactions with the educational content needs to be subtle yet not to be neglected.
  • Choosing the content is difficult. Decisions on categories and length of stories need to be made based on a fair amount of research and testing.
  • 8. What are the criteria for success?

  • People interact with the educational content(in the middle of or after consuming the stories) and end up learning some new knowledge.
  • People are willing to come back to the platform for other stories.
  • People talk about the stories they learned with their friends or families.
  • 9. Why should we care?

  • “We know more about how animals (especially rodents and pigeons) learn than about how children learn; and we know much more about how children learn than about how adults learn”, says Malcolm Knowles in his book The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species(1990). There is abundant research done proving how storytelling could improve the learning experience and results for adults, yet there are barely any changes seen in the current online education system. My project aims to explore how we can apply this proven knowledge to a digital product and actually use stories to help adults learn.