Developing the "Seeing" of Designer Roles in Students
Recognizing and assessing the strategies your students use in groups takes practice. They need to become aware of strategies they use (and don't) when designing. You can support this growing awareness through modeling -- by mentioning what you see students doing in their teams, and suggesting alternative ways to interact.
You can also help by giving your students a chance to observe and comment on how other students their own age, doing tasks with which they are familiar. The goal here is to get your kids to develop their own vocabulary for describing various designer roles, and then relating it to the technical vocabulary of the field of design.
In Movie 1, science teacher Toni Laman from Atlanta encourages her students to give names for the design strategies they see other students using. You can watch the movie she showed her students (Movie 2), which uses "video hotspots" to focus attention on different types of designerly behavior. In the ensuing discussion, Toni has her students first reflect on the other group's work, then analyze their own behavior. Building such "metacognitive awareness" was a major goal in Toni's teaching. Do you think students are on their way to achieving this higher-order thinking skill?