Community-based Interactive Podcast

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This project is from the course: Design Process for Learning by Dr. Maaike Bouwmeester. The goal of this project is to define the career-exploring learning objectives for the students majoring in Educational Communication and Technology and also propose resolutions for this defined problem.

Highlights of Findings in Research Phase

Research MethodsProcessDiscoveries
SurveyWith one month of the survey drop, we received 27 responses71% of 1st year students and 38% of 2nd year students don’t have a specific career goal. The overall sentiment among students toward career planning is “excited and struggling”
InterviewFocused on ECT current studentReflection and narration of one’s previous experience help the person on planning and decision making
ObservationObserved at both classroom/event setting and informal settingStudents are more responsive to working example, and real life stories than “big concepts”

To read the research report, click here.

To view the whole observation findings, click here.

User Experience Analysis

To find out the opportunities to provide timely help to our learners, we created a persona and user journey map to better understand learner’s concerns, behaviors, delight and pain points.


Fiona, a full-time international student in her first year at DMDL, with a background in Linguistic. She considers herself as a career switcher and concerns about gaining clarity of her career direction. She wants to have a reality check on the possibility of working in the US after graduation. She is also eager to fit into the new learning environment and community as soon as possible. Overall, she felt excited but anxious.

User Journey Map

We first identified various scenarios related to career planning that learners already engaged in, which includes: receiving the NYU offer, connect with the academic advisor, attend a program-wide networking event, meet academic advisor for course selection, and plan internship with an advisor. These scenarios happen periodically on a linear timeline. In every situation, we tried to walk in the learner’s shoes. The learner’s concern and feeling provide us insights on the timing and angle of potential user interaction, while the delight and pain points shed more lights on the specific type of help that might get their attention.

Check the pdf version of Fiona’s User Journey Map

Ideation Pipeline

Based on the learning goal, the content will be curated stories of alumni worked in various areas in EdTech field, personal experiences, both working examples and lesson learned and Questions and Answer sections.


In this Alumni Interview module, we present alumni’s personal experience in narrative format through interactive storyline. Narrative format refers to the flow, tone and manner alumni would use to communicate their experiences and thoughts. Instead of stating big concepts with dry and abstract words directly, we promote using specific experience examples and personal opinions/feelings to convey the underlying idea, attitude and mindset. The content will also cover alumni’s thinking process behind the critical career decisions, as well as extended material that inspired or supported them in decision making. Based on the narration, content curators will then cut and organize the sound tracks or video into short clips by subtopics, and visualize the storyline through multimedia, which consists of videos, sound tracks, images, hyperlinks as well as text. Learners can select the content from different parts of the storyline based on what interests them most. In addition, a brief introduction will be curated as a “hook” to highlight the key topics in the interview. By reading this text-based preview, learners will be able to better connect themselves with the interview content.

Reflections and Team Members

Finding out your best entertainment experiences, and see if it could be applied to a learning environment. We often blame ourselves for being distracted by social media, fragmented information while we wanted to study seriously. Instead of being guilty, we need to think about why the distractions are so intriguing. In the conclusion of Julie Dirksen’s book, there is a statement: “small children are natural learners – they just suck information out of their environment through curiosity and play.” We want our learners to be curious and enjoyed learning.

Our team was named “Billion Dollars Project,” with Sophia Lu, Dongwei Huo, Nakashima Kakkar and me as members. That is why I made this dollar bill with our photo. 😆

Besides, the members of observation unit are Sang Nong, Sophia Lu, Xingming Li, and Ya Wang.


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