3.1 Generating ideas


In this part of the project, we are in the ideate phase and we are going to come up with ideas, and in the end choose an idea that we can use in the prototype phase.

Brainstorming for HMW-questions(problem statements):

We set off 30 minutes to write down HMW-questions related to our problem that the group decided to work on in our “define” process, which is problems surrounding class size.

We sat down together as a group and wrote down as many HMW-questions on post-it cards as each of us could and decided on which one to work with. How we did this will be described below with pictures:

First we decided on how much time we wanted to give ourselves on the brainstorming session, which ended up being 30 minutes. Then we wrote down as many HMW-questions as we could on post-it cards. After the 30 minutes, we gathered the cards and read them out loud to each other.

Thereafter each of us picked our own best three cards which resulted in five bigger groups, and discussed these five groups of problement statements within the group and selected the best one of each group together.

Finally, the five of us voted for our favorite out of the five HMW-questions we had. These were:

  1. HMW broaden our teaching methods to fit large classes?
  2. HMW get online lectures?
  3. HMW reduce the anxiety to ask questions to the lecturer during class?
  4. HMW deepen the relationship between the lecturer and the students in a bigger class?
  5. HMW make a bigger class size advantageous?

We ended up choosing the fourth one: HMW deepen the relationship between the lecturer and the students in a bigger class? 

Generating solutions based on our HMW-question

After having chosen an HMW-question, we needed to come up with possible solutions to solve the problem statement. To do this, we decided to make a Lotus Blossom Diagram with post-it cards with different shapes to divide the different levels of the diagram. With this method, we first came up with 8 themes to the HMW-question as shown on the picture below, we tried to make these themes as relevant to the HMW-question as we could, but was still open to as many ideas as possible:

Then we came up with 8 solutions to each of these 8 themes, again we tried to be open to any ideas without straying too far from our themes. We picked out 1 theme and gave ourselves roughly 10 minutes to generate 8 solutions related to the chosen theme. We repeated this 8 times and ended up with 8 themes and a little less than 64 solutions as some of our themes were less broad than others thus harder to generate solutions for:

Results from Lotus blossom diagram

Problem statement: How might we deepen the relationship between the lecturer and the student in a bigger class?


Theme: Set a limit on the amount of students in a class.

  • Solutions:
      • Put in a smaller group.
      • Penalize late attendance.
      • Offer online lectures.
      • Strawpoll.
      • Less impactful lectures.
      • Only the best students joins.(best grades)
      • More lecturers => More lectures.
      • Smaller lecture halls.


Theme: Personalized conversations with each student.

  • Solutions:
      • Canvas chat.
      • Email.
      • Letters.
      • Phone calls.
      • Post-it feedback after lectures.
      • Live stream.
      • Meetings.
      • Skype


Theme: 1-on-1 Meetings.

    • Solutions:
      • Coffee.
      • Online chat.
      • After class.
      • Video chat.
      • Email.
      • Group Room.
      • Supervision.
      • Teachers office.


Theme: Rewards for participation from lectures.

  • Solutions:
      • Monthly best student.(Reputation)
      • Lecturer hosting competition in class.
      • Cake from lecturers.
      • Waffle stand.
      • Point per answer.(Competition)
      • Better grade.
      • Free tickets for cinemas.
      • Coupons.


Theme: More lecturers in class.

  • Solutions:
      • Student Assistants.
      • Teacher assistants.
      • Hire more lecturers.
      • Divide bigger classes.
      • Online lecturers.
      • Volunteers.


Theme: Actively using names of the students.

  • Solutions:
      • Nametags.
      • Group assignments.
      • Rules(making sure they call out names when speaking).
      • Roll attendance in class.
      • Kahoot quiz.
      • Facts about yourself in class.
      • Digital group chat in class(where you can see names).
      • Practical tasks in class.


Theme: Digital during class.

  • Solutions:
      • Snapchat.
      • Skype.
      • Facebook group.
      • Anonymous chat function.
      • Canvas discussion.
      • Facebook group chat.
      • Lecturer question platform.
      • Livestream.


Theme: Use personality quizzes in classes.

  • Solutions:
      • Tell about each other in a group chat.
      • Quizzes about each other.
      • New quiz platform.
      • Kahoot.


Selecting solutions

After working with the lotus blossom diagram, the group ended with 8 themes and solutions related to each theme. Before the group decided on which 3 solutions to work with further into the project, we had a short discussion about the themes as we all were leaning towards this one theme: Digital during class.

Now that we decided on which theme to explore, we had another discussion on what method to apply on this project to decide which solutions to work with. The method we chose to apply is the Post-it voting, and the process will be described below:

These are the solutions related to the theme that the group chose to work with, we wrote these solutions on a new post-it cards in order to proceed to the next step of this method which is shown above.

Thereafter we had a short recap of each solutions and briefly discussed each of these solutions, after finishing our recap and discussion, each of the group members voted on the solution they found the most interesting and rationale. We used stickers on the post-it cards to mark our votes. The voting resulted in these 3 solutions:

  • Anonymous chat function, 3 votes.
  • Livestream, 1 vote.
  • Lecturer question platform, 1 vote.

Conclusion on the Ideate phase

Throughout this phase of the design thinking method: Ideate – generating ideas. The group ended up with: 

1 problem statement: HMW deepen the relationship between the lecturer and the students in a bigger class?

1 Theme: Digital during class.

3 solutions:

  • Anonymous chat function.
  • Livestream.
  • Lecturer question platform.

After a short discussion the group decided on further exploring and continue working on the solution: Anonymous chat function. The reasoning for choosing this solution is because an Anonymous chat function would help better the direct communication between the lecturer and student, and help students take more initiative in bigger classes. Looking at earlier research in the empathy phase we learned that this was one of the most occurring and big problems in lecturers today.