Festival of Creative Learning – The process: Part 2

This is part 2 of our series of blogposts documenting the process of evolving Innovative Learning Week (ILW) into a Festival of Creative Learning – see part 1 here.

We’ve been doing work behind the scenes with the service design company Snook. Their design method is focused on visualising, prototyping and facilitating co-creation. They have been very helpful with helping us touch base with our key stakeholders in order to gather information and take the festival in the right direction.

This work included inviting people from across the University to a Design Workshop. Part of our focus in working on this project is to make sure we are designing and delivering something that is relevant to our community and which works well for all involved. That’s why this workshop was open to a wide range of the University community – not just those directly involved in putting on events. Participants included colleagues from EUSA, researchers, support staff, the careers service as well as students, school & service coordinators and event organisers directly involved in ILW 2016.


Anne Dhir from Snook introducing the session.

Much like the ethos of last year’s workshop, Snook based this workshop upon feedback from the interviews we did earlier this month as well as our vision and aims for the way we want the festival to evolve.

We started off the workshop by sharing our experiences of ILW 2016, the positives, the negatives and our personal engagement with it, answering some of the same questions that we had asked the ILW 2016 event organisers we interviewed prior to the workshop.


From there the post-it party started (and didn’t stop) and we jotted down our big ideas and visions for the future of innovation and creativity around learning in general at The University of Edinburgh. Supported by questions prompting challenges we continued to write and collate post-its into the themes we deemed most important or vital.

Later we were tasked with developing one of our post-it ideas and writing a design brief for it. This included answering questions such as ‘Who are you designing for?’, ‘What user need(s) are you focusing on?’ and ‘What stage of their experience will your design affect?’

The rest of the afternoon was spent imagining the user’s journey – and  what would enable and hinder them to get to the stage of actually using the Festival. This really helped with visualising when and how we need to communicate with our community in order for them to realise how the Festival can be a tool and vehicle for them.

At the end of the workshop Snook introduced the ‘MoSCoW’ approach, inviting attendees to tell us what they thought the Festival of Creative Learning must/should/could/won’t do on post-its, aiming for people to be succinct and focus on the most important aspects. Below you can glimpse some of the suggestions, such as ‘must be structured’ and ‘could be life-changing.’

We then finished off the afternoon by inviting people to re-visit the aims and values that we created for ILW 2016 to see if these were still relevant for the new festival. If you want to contribute please visit the link, read the aims and values and email us at creative.learning@ed.ac.uk with suggestions of change. We’d love to hear from you.

We are about to synthesise the insights so far to develop the strategy for the festival, so watch this space for more updates about our behind the scenes work on the Festival of Creative Learning.

If you want to read about how our collaboration with Snook started, see the blogpost about us revamping ILW last year here and the decisions that came out of it here.

Also see our blogposts about last year’s blueprinting session and design workshop.

The impact report from ILW 2016 and more information about what Snook helped us build can be found here.

If you have any questions about The Festival of Creative Learning, please email creative.learning@ed.ac.uk


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