Last modified 14 years ago Last modified on 11/14/05 11:40:34

Instructions for Participatory Design Sessions

version 1.0


  • 1 Researcher / designer.
  • 2-3 Teachers.


  • Note book and a pen for you.
  • Piles of blank paper and some pens for for all the participants.
  • Digital camera.
  • Digital audio recorder + microphone.
  • Scenarios with visualizations (as many printouts as there are participants - remember to take a copy for yourself, too!).
  • As many printouts of the following comic strips as there are participants (see the attachements in the bttomo of the page).


  • Quiet and private space with chairs and tabels for writing and possible drawing.


  • The session will last about of 2-3 hours.


1. Preparation and "ice breaking"

  1. Introduce yourself and the CALIBRATE -project (just a name and european r&d project).
  2. Explain that this session/discussion is organized to gather early ideas from teachers on what kind of online tools they would like to use.
  3. Tell participants that you are going to record the session and take pictures, but that the material will be used only for research purposes.
  1. Tell that you have some stories that you want teachers to first read through and that then you will talk about them all together.
  2. Press "record" of your digital audio recorder.
  3. Ask the teachers some basic information: how long they have worked as a teacher? How long they have used computers in their teaching?
  4. For ice breaking (for forgetting the audio recordng) show the follwoing comic strips for the participants (translate the texts for them).
  5. Ask what did they think about the strips? Was it funny? Why? Is this kind of discussions common among children?
  6. Take a picture of the teachers looking the strips. Try to get some context (how is the space) to the picture, as well.

2. Talking about the scenarios

  1. Give the first scenario for teachers (one copy for each) to read it through.
  2. Put the visualizations related to the scenarios on the table, as well, and explain that this picture is related to the story.
  3. Ask each teacher:
  • Did the story wake-up any thoughts?
  • Is this a possible story?
  • Is there something they would like to change in it?
  • Could they image themself to the role of the teacher?
  • What do they think what part they would find most difficult to manage if they were in the role of the teacher?
  • How would the story continue?
  1. Mark-up that each teacher replys something to each question.
  2. Take pictures of the teachers talking about the stories.
  1. Repeate the below steps with all three (or four) scenarios.

3. Cathering specific design idea

  1. Ask the participants if they you now have an idea what kind of technology we are developing in the project.
  2. Ask them to think how the system should be?
  3. Encourage them to illustrate their explanation with a drawings or diagrams of it. Use the paper and pen.
  4. Take pictures of the teachers explaining their stories.

4. Wraping up

  1. Ask participants to write down their email addresses and ask if we may ask them more questions later in the process.
  2. Take pictures of the teachers.
  3. Thank you and we will be in touch.

General notes

The atmosphere in the session should be non-formal. You should avoid it to look like an interview where there are right and wrong answers. Take a cup of coffee for all and try to make the situation relaxed. Do not stop or guide teachers even if they are presenting idea which you think that are stupid or irrelevant. Let teacher to talk. Still, be aware not to let one person to dominate the situation. Give all chance to talk and encourage the quiet participants.

In the end of the session you should have an audio recording of about 2 hours and 10-20 pictures of the session.

See also: