Approach

Open Space Office

Our Belief

We believe that well-designed learning experiences, backed by research and infused with creativity, can lead to meaningful transformation and create new opportunities in people’s lives.

Why? Because as people, we’ve benefitted from transformational learning experiences that changed our lives, and we are dedicated to creating that for others.

How We Work

We strive for true partnerships with our clients. By using our consistent process (JLXP) and leveraging our individual and collective expertise, we offer a proven method to take on unique challenges. We help our partners “see around the corner” and remain consultants even as we help them create large-scale programs and products.

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Design Principles

Meet the learner where they are, by employing empathy and gathering data

We design interactions and experiences:

  • for the learner’s level of proficiency, immediate needs, and big-picture aspirations.

  • to exceed the learners’ expectations of the learning process.

  • to be useful given the resources the learner already has on hand.

  • to be accessible to the learner in terms of technology and ability.
     

Make the learning as immediately applicable as possible

We create and provide:

  • opportunities for learners to make their own connections between the content and its applicability in their world.

  • learning experiences that resonate with learner’s lives, work, and aspirations so we can help them expand the possibilities in front of them.

  • tools, frameworks, and guides that can help them use what they have learned.

Keep the learning experience active

We engage learners by:

  • ensuring they have opportunities to be active in their experience, to create more “lean in” activities, rather than “lean back” viewing.

  • including them in the creation of their own learning process.

  • giving them opportunities to reflect on their own cognition and empowering them to make choices about their learning along the way.

Provide ever-present feedback and opportunities for reflection

Our learning experiences provide:

  • the learner with a clear understanding of how they are progressing and what they need to do to keep learning effectively.

  • feedback to improve mindset and metacognition, in addition to content and skills.

  • highly varied and, to the greatest extent, personalized feedback.

  • opportunities for self-reflection and feedback on how learning can be transferred.

Create productive tension

Our learning experiences are:

  • in the “Goldilocks” zone between not too difficult and not too easy.

  • challenging in ways that create internal motivation to succeed.

  • story-driven to build narrative tension that increases external motivation.

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Phases of Our Process

Discover

The Discover phase involves research designed to uncover and account for anything essential to the program’s success, such as our partner’s key performance indicators, how best to work with faculty or subject matter experts, successful competitive products or models, existing data about the current version of the program, unique learner needs, etc. The Discover phase might also uncover cultural norms that lie below the surface or unaccounted for opportunities. With the big picture in mind, we help our clients refine their vision of the future.

Clarify

The Discover phase can yield a lot of information. In the Clarify phase, we organize what we’ve learned to make it functional and useful throughout the rest of the project. When we deliver something, we try to focus on the deliverable’s utility in getting the work done and the clarity it provides for reporting purposes. The Discover and Clarify phases typically have the following deliverables:

  • A Project Brief and Design Document that concisely captures critical decisions about the program.

  • A “Core Evidence and Standards” document to capture all of the quality standards and success metrics that we’ve identified through discovery (this document will become a checklist we will use during course development to ensure our work is satisfying all of the goals we’ve set for ourselves)

  • A Project Roadmap that details timelines, roles and responsibilities, workflow, etc.
     

Prototype

Using the ideas and standards generated in the previous stages, we would select a portion of one course with at least a single instance of every element we need to design and develop. This prototype will serve as a sample to test with learners and refine them before creating at scale. Once fully completed, the prototype will also be a blueprint for us to reference when creating the rest of the materials. A functioning prototype with real content, activities, media, etc. can be reviewed by learners and other stakeholders is the primary deliverable for this phase.

Playbook

A playbook is an informative guide and collection of resources that stores everything we need to help us create courses at scale. The playbook will include templates for different parts of the design and development process and the best practices that apply to phases of the process and elements of the course. It begins with discerning who the learners are and what overall vision the faculty hopes to achieve through the course. It then moves to the how of defining more specific learning outcomes and assessment, followed by an in-depth look at each element of the learning model (including instruction, collaboration, assessment, media, etc)

Scale

Using the Prototype and the Playbook, we begin full-scale creation of the courses within a program. At this point, we will have determined what must go into the product, which will allow us to move quickly and decisively. In full-scale production, project management and communication become increasingly important as there are many more moving parts. Courses will be created in stages with clear quality benchmarks based on the Evidence and Standards document (which will have been revised after creating the Prototype), and the Prototype as an exemplar.

Pedagogically we lean toward creating active learning experiences that include compelling and interactive instruction, cases and storytelling, real-life problem solving, and application to the learner’s everyday life (or the life and work they are aspiring to).