I really enjoy being interviewed well about things I have done and decisions I have taken. This interview by Joe Escobedo dived into some of the design principles and challenges that I faced in my 26 years at Hyper Island and when working with companies and other universities.
Some of the key messages that we explored were:
Hyper Island was built around a model of “learning by doing” rather than around instruction. Students are put at the centre of this model and given real problems to solve (from clients) and tools to help them tackle them.
There was an emphasis on making the learning highly relevant and engaging. We used reflection and discussion to draw value out of every session and project with the goal to create reusable learnings that could be applied to future jobs and problem solving.
We aimed to be highly interdisciplinary drawing on insights from the television, music and games industries. Today’s learners need to borrow ideas from a wide range of disciplines. The old subject based curricula are no longer enough.
We encouraged making in all of our sessions, moving away from the traditional report, presentation or essay towards creating prototypes, pitches, artefacts, exhibitions and working systems. This draws on the power of the Lean and Agile movements where rapid making creates things that can be discussed, improved and perfected.
I believe strongly in the power of the diverse team. Genuine diversity means forming teams who will disagree, bring different perspectives and tackle problems using a variety of approaches. This requires careful and skilled facilitation and also awareness about team behaviour and development. This poses interesting challenges when moving between cultures and I have been fortunate to be able to work with groups across the world.
Finally we talked about assessment and the power of the learning portfolio in which the learner is tasked with demonstrating that they have achieved the learning outcomes set for the programme.
I hope you enjoyed the Podcast. Get in touch to discuss any of the issues raised.