I’ve been busy writing, (having Covid), thinking and changing my job role at Hyper Island; going independent will allow me to work for a wider range of clients and educational organisations.  It’s been a scary change but also a good opportunity to reflect on what I have been doing and to focus on what I want to do next.  Some exciting opportunities ahead.

One thing I have doubled down on, is my role as a learning designer and facilitator.  I’ve had a number of productive conversations about capturing the essential processes that I use as an educator to create lessons, sessions, workshops and activities for learners. 

Today I wanted to share a picture that I have created that attempts to capture one element of learning design: the event, meeting or workshop itself and what goes into it and what comes out.  It’s deliberately got a lot of icons in it as I don’t want to be too prescriptive but stimulate conversation about what magical meetings and workshops might consist of.

Let me know what you think.  Better still, draw a better version yourself and share it with me.  And get in touch if you want to collaborate on making something. 

Categories: Learning


Richard Millwood · 31/08/2022 at 12:32

Thanks to the facilitation arrow (and inherent sense of the meaning of the activiities) I am driven to see time as passing left to right. In which case preparation before purpose? Whose purpose? Why after preparation, but not in the event?

To be magical, some purpose-making needs to be the participants’ pleasure I would argue.

The symbols are lovely, but it is hard to know what you mean exactly – I feel lost in the land of the Emoji speakers (writers) – is that just me?

The colours are pleasant, the shapes diverse – but do the shapes imply meaning?

    jonathanbriggs · 31/08/2022 at 12:37

    Thanks Richard and good to hear from you. There is not a strict ordering to this and purpose does not follow planning but is obviously part of it. There are loops and feedbacks from the decisions we make. It’s a provocation and the icons are part of that. What would you draw to capture the same sort of ideas in a single image?

      jonathanbriggs · 31/08/2022 at 12:59

      I decided you were right @Richard and updated the image to put Define Purpose first. The colours make it easier to refer to the parts of the diagram when using it with a class.

Alexandre PAITRE · 13/09/2022 at 15:05

Hi Jonathan, long time no speak. Thanks for sharing the post. I only have a couple of comments at this stage. 1) Purpose should / could embed a picture of what the end results or final outcomes should look like (designing from the end and backwards). Personally, I use tricks such as “what would you like people to say after the event? How would you like them to feel? If the event were mentioned in a newspaper, what would be the head line? etc.”. 2) related to point 1, the model should have a feedback loop mechanism (with an arrow going backward) to confront the end results with the original intent / purpose and, more even more important from a commercial viewpoint, to establish a continuous conversation scheme with the client organization to repeat, improve, and add-on. As they say, repetition is the soul of learning… Cheers. Alexandre

    jonathanbriggs · 13/09/2022 at 15:40

    Big thanks for that Alexandre. I agree to both points especially the feedback loop at the end!

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