Week 1

draw sharks

Visit How to Draw a Shark and following the instructions, draw sharks for each thing you're afraid of regarding this course, (or other things if you like), right now. Seal your drawing in the envelope provided and write your name on the outside of the envelope. We'll revisit these later in the quarter.


Digital Engagement Research Project

Research two examples of projects (websites, apps, services, APIs, etc.) that museums and libraries are currently sustaining or about to launch. Make sure these examples are unique (that no one else in class is doing them) and that you think they're good examples of using technology in a museum or library space. Be prepared to brief the class on the projects you select.


Noticing Practice (Part 1)

Choose an object, shape, or behavior that has some significance to you.  You will notice this object in your everyday life for the next ten weeks, so be thoughtful about what it is.  For the first part of our assignment, using a digital or analog device, document whenever you find the object for the next two weeks. 


Coloring: On Being Podcast w/Seth Godin

Select three sheets to color in class on Wednesday (if you were not in class, print some out... here is a nice site). Go to this On Being interview with Seth Godin: The Art of Noticing, and Then Creating and listen to it while coloring. The interview is 52 minutes long. You do not have to color all three sheets, just color while you listen and bring whatever you make to class.


Week 2

Undercover Facilitator

Using these facilitation techniques, practice using at least two color groups (see below) in at least five conversations in the topic area and community you identified in your small groups.

Some examples may be one facilitation move, other examples may include several depending on what happened as a reaction to your facilitation. Check-in on your efforts before class and come prepared to share what you tried and what happened as a result. If something interesting happens, take a screenshot (with usernames blurred or blacked out) to share.


Coloring: Ira Glass on Storytelling

Select three sheets to color in class on Wednesday (if you were not in class, print some out... here is a nice site). Go to this series of Youtube videos — Part 1, 2, 3, 4 — and listen to it while coloring. The series is less than 20 minutes long. You do not have to color all three sheets, just color while you listen and bring whatever you make to class.


Week 3


In addition to your Noticing Practice, pay extra attention to what you hear this week.  Using a notebook or note-taking application on your phone or computer or the back of your hand, jot down snippets of things you overhear immediately after you hear them. Aim for at least seven overheards over the course of the next week.


Quit Pitch

Your quit pitches are 3-4 minute, team-based, informal, provocations intended to challenge your classmates and also the museum, library, higher education field-at-large. You do not need slides though you can have slides if you want them.

At a minimum, your pitch should include:

  • What do you recommend quitting?
  • Why?
  • What space would be created as a result?
  • How could you test this idea in reality? (make it small, fallible)
  • Any and everything else you may want to share w/in the 3-4 minute time constraint. 


Morning pages

You have three weeks to write morning pages on at least one morning.

Morning pages are three handwritten pages of stream of consciousness, contemplative writing.  There’s no wrong way to write them. It should take you about 45-60 minutes to complete this assignment. If it takes you less than 30 minutes to fill three pages, write for 30 minutes instead of writing for three pages (otherwise write until you fill three pages). Do this assignment before you check anything on your phone or on the Internet for the day.  Bring the completed pages sealed and dated in an envelope as proof that you completed them. We’ll talk about the experience in class. Here are some links to help you get started, (they are not required reading):


Week 4

Ugly Coloring: Eli Neiburger on Libraries and Love

Select three sheets to color in class on Wednesday (if you were not in class, print some out... here is a nice site). Go to FLATLAND: A Statistical Romance of Many Dimensions and listen to it while coloring. Color these as ugly as you are possibly capable of. The video is 1 hour and 14 minutes long. Listen while you color and break from coloring to listen harder if you want to do that. Bring whatever you make to class.


The Sky's the Limit Pitch

3-minute in-class pitch with your experiment team about what you do and what happens if everything goes exceedingly well with your project.


Week 5


Five minute in class pitches after working with the Digital Experiment Canvas.


Experiment Narrative Pitch

Seven minute in class pitches after working with the Digital Experiment Narrative.


Noticing Practice (Part 2)

For the next two weeks, renew your efforts to notice the object or concept you chose for your noticing practice. This time, instead of documenting the object you notice, use the moment of noticing to ask yourself a question. The question you ask can be whatever you decide, but be sure to ask the same question every time. I've listed some questions you might ask, but you can really chose to ask yourself anything. Also, if you still want to document the object, feel free.


Individual Project Check-In

Answer the following questions about how you're feeling about the project and your team.


Week 6

EXPERIMENT prototype I Launch 

Recruit participants, conduct any formative evaluation, and launch V1 of your digital experiment. 


Week 7

Experiment prototype II Launch

Continue to recruit, evaluate, and tweak your experiment in your V2 launch.


Week 8

experiment prototype III LAUNCH

Continue to recruit, evaluate, and tweak your experiment in your v3 launch.


Noticing Practice (Part 3)

Write a reflection on your noticing practice this quarter. Aim for something short, but of substance: ~250 words. What have you noticed about your noticing? What has this practice invited? Where has it led you? What will you do when the quarter is over? These questions are just suggestions, feel free to write about whatever you want to write about noticing.


Week 9

experiment debriefs

Sunset your experiments if need be, finalize any summative evaluation, and present to the class as a team. 

You'll have 10 minutes each. In this time, you'll also take questions. Please create a powerpoint slideshow or handouts so that we have visuals to reference. Do not rely on an internet connection for a demo.

Share the story of your experiment — how it began, evolved, and ended up. Share what you thought would happen, what actually happened, and any metrics you came up with along the way. Most of all, share the answer you currently have for the question you originally sought to answer. 

Imagine your audience for this presentation is the larger field. Share as if you are at AAM or ALA. What would you say to current practitioners and leadership who may also want to explore what you've just briefly delved into? How would you encourage them to proceed given the results of your experiment?

Your experiments wrap up this week. We’ll debrief them with each other in team-based presentations and revisit our intentions to take risks with technology and see how our projects evolved throughout the experiment life cycle. 


Week 10

Failure Portfolio

Your assignment is to create a portfolio of the failures you've experienced in the last quarter. Our class should be a rich source of these experiences, but you do not have to contain your portfolio to only class failures (though you certainly can limit it to class-only).

Some ideas that may inspire you or inform the contents of your failure portfolio are:

  • How do you define failure?
  • How big or small does something have to be to be a failure?
  • What role do expectations play in having failed?
  • Who or what failed?
  • Where might shame or fear have played a role?
  • What do you think about your own reaction to having failed?
  • Why is it a failure?
  • How or what would you do differently?
  • Would you do it again if you had the chance?
  • What did you think would happen?
  • How have your thoughts about failure changed?

Feel free to have different interpretations of failure, different ways of measuring it, using a continuum or binary model for what counts. 

The format of your portfolio is up to you. It can be a performance, an essay, a picture book, a slideshow, information graphics, a work of art, a thing you pass around, whatever you like. You'll have up to five minutes each to share it with us on June 1, 2015.

We will talk more about this in class, but the day we share our failure portfolios will be a sacred day. Everyone should come to class with an open mind and heart. We will follow Chatham House Rules for that day, as well. 


Reflection | Reflection

Reflect on the various practices you've experienced over the last ten weeks: drawing, writing, walking, group discussions, morning pages, noticing, coloring. Which worked for you? Which didn't? What might you continue in the future?


Last Word

Select one word to describe your experience in class. Write it on a Post-it note and share with others why you chose it.