Wicked Problem

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of amazing discovery through my Masters of Arts in Educational Technology program through the MSU MAET summer cohort.  My posts have reflected on much of the work I have been doing individually and also within groups. These experiences have led me to a new understandings in many of the trends in education, technology and pedagogy.  The projects have proven to be enjoyable, demanding, time consuming, enlightening, frustrating, and collaborative. Just think this is just within the first three weeks, whew! The process of solving a Wicked Problem meets all of the above described experience yet with a bit more investment, because a wicked problem is not just about my understanding but a community of understanding. The wicked problem doesn’t just think “Big” about the troubles facing our current education practices, it calls on each of us to unite and be a driving force in creative solutions to these problems.

Wicked Problem

Wicked Problem

For our Wicked Problem assignment, we were asked to work in groups in order to identify and chose one of the key issues we face in education.  Each group then was asked, over the next few weeks, to work on tackling solutions to the chosen problem.  In the case of a Wicked Problem one answer wouldn’t constitute a solution.  The problem would require reinventing and rethinking what we know about teaching, along with the complexity of its independence on existing variables.  This rethinking requires deep group thinking by impassioned educators not afraid to challenge current policies. Within our groups we were required to meet with one another (online) and compile a research-based solution to our problem. The rough draft of our problem, approach, examination, reflection, research and solution can be found in this curation of InnovationEd designed in smore.



Sebastiaan ter Burg. September 6, 2013. Het Nieuwe Instituut: Social Design for Wicked Problems [image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/ter-burg/9701296143/in/photolist

New Media Consortium. Retrieved on July 16, 2014, from http://www.nmc.org/

Smore. https://www.smore.com/app


2 thoughts on “Wicked Problem

  1. labecker12 says:


    I really like that you guys talked specifically about the complexities in your multimedia mash up. It really shows the “craziness” persay of this problem. How can we teach students to solve the problems we don’t even know are problems yet? I really like that you use so many different types of media within your video – screenshots, audio, video, youtube, pictures, etc. The diagram you show at the beginning changes to the end of the video showing your learning process. Just a thought – it is a little difficult to understand the speech for the second half of the video because it has an echo in it. This may be because Camtasia recorded the system audio as well as the microphone audio. You may be able to fix this by deleting one of them from the tray.

    I definitely agree that we need to revamp our assessment to create a culture of innovation where students feel free to create and innovate. I really think that you do a great job of offering solutions and showing WHY you came up with these solutions as well.

    Infographic – Love this diagram! It really does a fantastic job of showing the complexities of your project, the ideas you have, and the changes that need to be made. The ideas are very organized and it is easy to see where each of the articles influenced your opinions. The only thing I don’t see in here is how your TPACK knowledge has influenced this problem – maybe add something in there about that? I bet it could fit in your diagram nicely!

    Overall fantastic job!! 🙂

  2. Zach Cresswell says:

    I definitely agree with you that high stakes assessments are driving this culture of lack of innovation. I think this not only forces teachers to teach to the test, but it also creates an environment of competition which I think is unhealthy in the realm of education. We are all trying to get better. I shouldn’t be trying to get better than you because that incentivizes me to do things that will make your practice worse (not sharing a quality lesson, etc.)

    What I wonder about is whether changing the test to being higher quality will get rid of the competition problem. If I’m still largely evaluated on the scores from the test, and the competitive environment still remains, then the problems associated with competition continue. Has your group looked at this aspect of testing?

    I also wonder about the culture of learning that is needed for innovation to happen amongst teachers. Sometimes I think saying “I have to teach to the test” is a cop out for “It’s a lot of work to change, I’m afraid if I try to innovate I might fail, and what I have been doing is just fine.” You might consider many humans’ natural resistance to change and how that plays into the lack of innovation.

    Overall however I think you nailed it. The problem goes right to the top of the “food chain”. It’s difficult for an admin to create a culture of innovation because he/she faces the same pressure from test scores that teachers do.

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