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Seminar 5 - Lego!

Lots of fun today. We were divided up into groups of 4 and given a set of the new bionicle Lego stuff. One of us had to build the set, but someone else had the instructions. They weren't allowed to see what the builder was doing, but had to describe the bits and what to do with them. The other two were gathering data about the project.

I was giving the instructions. It was really tricky to try to explain which piece you wanted them to use and which way round it should go, and then id how to join the pieces. Lizzie was building, and we actually did pretty well. We managed to develop some sort of common language for the pieces, so we understood which bits we meant. Lizzie was also pretty good at asking for confirmation of the bit she'd got, describing it back to me. We did do quite a lot of giggling, and the language we developed may have been based around balls (there are lots of ball and socket joints in this stuff!) but it worked for us.

It was interesting to see what the observers had noted down, and what I'd come up with. And how hard it was (when we swapped round) not to get involved as observers and help out.

Making the affinity diagram was also informative. We took the notes, and tried to link similar ones into categories. Sometimes the obvious catagories were not actually very helpful for discovering the underlying problem, which was interesting. For example, we'd all noticed how much the colour of the pieces came up, but colour was just being used to help identify the piece. So colour wasn't actually a useful catagory, but piece identification was. It was good to see a method of getting from the raw data to something more structured and potentially useful.

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