Challenge Design

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Through the Chicago City of Learning initiative, DYN developed an educational approach to facilitate the goals of hybrid learning environments. This approach, which focuses on the creation of “challenges,” helps organizations adapt content into a series of online activities.

What is a challenge?
A challenge is a series of activities designed to guide learners through the process of fully understanding the skills necessary for success in a given field. For example, when participating in a digital photography challenge, the instructor may have 5 activities that they believe impart the core concepts and techniques to their learners. These 5 activities, mapped out in a progression of escalating difficulty, comprise the challenge. The activities, while often production based, can also be designed to encourage reading, discussion, critique, and iteration.

Using Challenges to construct learning and creative experiences allows students to focus on important elements of a curriculum through a progression of activities to meet specific learning goals. Challenges allow the designer to construct an experience that is either self-paced or attached to a fixed schedule. Students do not move forward in the challenge until they have mastered the skills integrated into prior activities. This mastery of skills is assessed based on the requirements designed for each activity. DYN encourages organizations to incorporate hands-on creation as production based activities are effective in promoting student engagement.

DYN has a framework for guiding organizations of all types through the challenge design process. We provide a structure that encourages the creation of innovative and functional educational experiences while allowing organizations to retain their individual goals and personalities.


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