Evolution of Consciousness is the title of one of the Courses in my Professional Development Project at Ross School. This page is documenting and showcasing some of the interactive activities we developed in the course. Although some of the activities was not able to be developed at the time the course was piloted due to unfortunate development backlogging, we did find alternative (low tech) ways to deliver the content during PD Pilot. My role in this course was the same as the PD project - Lead Instructional Designer.
The course ended up being produced in Moodle platform. As described in professional development project, even though the platform the team designed has never been coded, course activities reflected our design philosophies - interactive, user-empowering, and meaningfully integrated.
The course ended up being produced in Moodle platform. As described in professional development project, even though the platform the team designed has never been coded, course activities reflected our design philosophies - interactive, user-empowering, and meaningfully integrated.
The Need / Problem
#1 Complex Learning Material
In this course, the instructor attempts to teach the entire Evolution of Consciousness, an overarching narrative to the Ross curriculum that covers a history of human consciousness from early humans all the way to present day. In addition, the narrative was divided into several phases, each with its unique Cultural Ecologies and Mathematical Mentalities, which are sophisticated concepts on their own already. In order to make this course suitable and meaningful to teachers, it also need to cover in details what is being taught in each grade level at Ross School. Historical people, places, events and masterpieces are present through out the narrative, making it even more challenging for the learners and the course designers alike.
#2 Rich Art & Artifact Involvement
The presence of Art and Artifact in Ross Curriculum is unprecedented. Since the Evolution of Consciousness is a chronological narrative for the development of human consciousness, it relies on the records of human history to justify its theory, thus naturally makes Art and Artifact an essential part for each grade level. In Ross classroom, a fair amount of classes were taught through deconstructing art and artifact from perspectives of different subjects. This huge involvement of large number of images is both a blessing and a challenge to the design. The course is guaranteed to be image rich, but in the meantime, I need to be mindful at all times to create meaningful interactions for the learners to these images.
#3 Lack of Diversity in Existing Material
Aside from the fact that the curriculum relies heavily on art and artifacts, the teaching material at the starting stage was almost purely text-based. Before me and my team members can find solutions for course delivery online, we had no choice but to read through all the materials ourselves, basically taking a course buy ourselves. We needed to fully understand the content in order to design accurate visual representations and meaningful interactions. In addition, a lot of the knowledge on this topic exist only in the mind of key stakeholders. The lack of formalized documentation of such knowledge also limited our ability to create an online course efficiently.
Infographic - A Course Deconstruction
The design of infographic started with the a white paper document of the curriculum authored by the founding mentor - chaos mathematics William Thompson - 23 years ago. All the team had at the time was text based material, and we had no choice but to read it cover to cover for several times, make detailed notes, and have regular check-in meetings to exchange new understandings. Eventually, I synthesized the teams consensus in a table and got it approved by Academic Council. We started our design from there.
On turning the table into an infographic, the team went through a few iterations, and had to make compromises occasionally (for example, 1) accept the fact that Grade 12 will be in a separate track of the timeline as it's a recapitulation of the entire narrative, 2) remove children's developmental stages as Academic Council did not agree on the theory, and 3) bifurcations are no longer highlighted between the Mathematical Mentalities). We consulted the Academic Council on every step of the way, and earned their respect through our ability to protect the integrity of the curriculum.
I am personally very proud of this achievement, as we not only created a beautiful, functional and sophisticated infographic out of almost nothing, but consolidated long-standing conflicts at the school as well.
The team was quite devastated when we learned that no development resources would be available to create such infographic for the course. After some thoughts I decided to take the matter into my own hands, and picked up my old knowledge on the web front end and coded it out.
What the full User Experience? Mouseover the image on the left and click the top of the chart. Move your mouse towards the corresponding direction as you go through the steps. Pay special attention to the loops of Grade levels and Mentalities. Since there are so many of them, the flow had to be constructed in loops for the similar experience in each.
If you want to zoom out, simply click again and move your mouse away from the area.
Early humans had a necessity for tallying and itemization, whether to keep time, to notate phases of the moon, mark female fertility cycles, or inventory items. As humans evolved during the vast period of the Arithmetic Mentality, they employed enumeration for tracking stars across the heavens, inventorying agricultural yield and trade, and for recording land ownership and taxation. In some cultures, the placement of knots at varying intervals on long colored strings served as both a mathematical and a literary device. With the emergence of writing, numerals replaced tally marks and mathematics became a formalized system. The Sumerians created numerals and eventually the sexagesimal or base 60 system. Both the Egyptians and the inhabitants of the Indus Valley introduced the use of decimals, but in the Indus Valley, decimals were related to ratios used in the codification of weights and measurement, including the first known example of a ruler. With writing, the form of a list was employed for enumerating gifts of the gods in ritual hymns, praising accomplishments of mythical heroes and kings, and in written codes of law. Humans during the period of the Arithmetic Mentality demonstrated a capacity to organize their world through various modes of enumeration, with tallying and itemization eventually leading to The List, the archetype for this Mentality
The Geometric Mentality is the Mentality of Classical civilizations. The archetypal representation of this Mentality is The Temple. The Geometric Mentality is a world in which the ideal is transcendent; the mental geometrization of the worldview replaces the concrete and sensuous.
The Algebraic Mentality is the Mentality of medieval civilizations; its archetype is a celestial Symbolic Code, that is, a transition from the concrete object to an abstract, empowering entity illustrated by numinous script. This Mentality is expressed in calligraphy (both Celtic and Arabic), in algebra, in illuminated manuscript, in codes of honor ( in the Middle East, chivalry in Europe, bushido in Japan) and is a form of expression in which a visionary script is seen to be an angelic epiphany of neoplatonic “celestial intelligences.”
In the bifurcation between the Algebraic and the Dynamical Mentalities, there occurs the rise of the individual, and a shift from centrality of faith, Aristotelian logic, and land-based economies to humanism and mercantilism. The individual questions authority, and there is a shift from a geocentric to a heliocentric cosmos. Movement is the archetype, embodied in the use of new naval technology to cross oceans, new ballistics, the motion of currencies across borders, the incorporation of perspective and three-dimensionality in art, the discovery of the circulatory system, and revolutions and the emergence of constitutional monarchies. The Dynamical Mentality is the Mentality of the early Modern period, from the early 1400’s with the Ming Dynasty’s advanced naval technology and Zheng He’s voyages, to the middle of the 19th century. The mathematical metaphor is the emergence of physics as a formal science and the introduction of velocity into mathematics, giving rise to calculus. Whether planets, oceanic voyages, cannonballs, or systems of currency, movement is represented by the parabolic trajectory. It is intensified by trade, interest, and a general fascination with motion that culminates with the discoveries and work of Galileo, Newton, and Leibniz. Scientists, artists and revolutionary thinkers challenge the authority of Church and King, shattering former beliefs and setting in motion a new narrative for the nature of things, one in which Movement, the archetype of the Dynamical Mentality, generates value.
Complex Dynamical Mentality
The Complex Dynamical Mentality is the Mentality of our time, dating from Henri Poincaré’s work on the three-body problem (1887-1889) to the present. The mathematical metaphor for this period is the loss of predictability, or certainty, in mathematics with the emergence of chaos theory and complexity. It is a shift from Galilean dynamics, with its linear systems of causation and reductionist emphasis--the mechanistic Newtonian Clockwork Universe--to Complex Dynamical systems--chaos, uncertainty, and bottom-up systems of self organization that express new applications of emergence and then dominance, as exemplified in ideas about the origins of life, the culture of the Internet, and Earth as a self-regulating system (Gaia). The traditional known world is replaced with one marked by relativity, the unconscious, and new time-space dimensions. The archetype for this Mentality is speed--the acceleration of culture through modernization by new cultural vehicles of the world-city and the world war. New transportation vehicles--the railroad, automobile, truck, tank, airplane, jet, and rocket--and new methods of communication--the telegraph, telephone and ultimately digital technologies--have enormous impact on traditional cultures and religious worldviews. The last Mathematical Mentality studied in the Evolution of Consciousness narrative, its accelerating global connections, transnational phenomena, and the challenging of “truths” that had been established by the previous rationalism of Western science, create a more complex understanding of perspectival difference and even, what is knowable.
Sylvan Cultural Ecology
The period of the Sylvan Cultural Ecology was one of dense green jungles and forests. Our earliest mammalian ancestors were quadrupeds. They did not have opposable thumbs. Their aural (hearing) and olfactory (smell) senses predominated. These earliest mammalians foraged for food and propagated when the female was in estrus, making for unpredictable cycles of fertility. They fashioned simple stone flakes and cores to prepare food.
Savanna Cultural Ecology
Savanna Cultural Ecology is associated with the emergence of the hominization of primates, and bipedalism. Global weather changes reduced the cover of the forest, creating open grasslands. Some believe the occipital lobe (or visual cortex) evolved for the purpose of spotting prey and predator. The development of handaxes came about with the evolution of opposable thumbs. Females shifted to a predictable cycle of menses, influencing the relationship and proximity of the sexes. With development of the control of fire, early hominids gathered in small bands to hunt and cook food. Early call systems emerged as a means of communication. The evolution from Australopithecus to Homo habilis occurs in the Savanna Cultural Ecology.
Glacial Cultural Ecology
During the Glacial Cultural Ecology, early bands required clothing and shelter for survival. Within this period of glacial compression arose the developments of fire, engraved tools, ceramics, jewelry, metallurgy, and fully blown human forms of linguistic communication. In the Glacial Cultural Ecology we see the movement from Homo erectus to archaic Homo sapiens to Neanderthal and modern Homo sapiens.
In the Post-glacial Cultural Ecology, climate change allowed humans to shift from following wild herds to corralling, and over time, domesticating animals. Human migration led to cultural diversity with traditional foragers, nomadic herders, and early agricultural settlements. Hunting bands became tribes and then clans. Early ceremonial settlements such as Göbekli Tepe (present day Turkey) are marked by megalithic structures with seemingly ritual funerary and calendrical significance, and suggest the presence of a religious elite. These pre-agricultural ceremonial centers gave way to Neolithic towns, such as Çatalhöyük (present day Turkey), marked by cultivation of the first grains, development of pottery, emergence of early settlement architecture, megalithic monuments, and pictographic glyphs.
The Riverine Cultural Ecology articulates the growth of Neolithic towns into full-blown cities, with class stratification into priests, warriors, merchants, and traders, as well as organized religion with fixed mythological narratives preserved in writing, ritual, and star lore (archaeoastronomy). Town structures evolved into city-states, sited near a river, with a need for written laws. Settlements were also enhanced by organized irrigational systems made possible by the city-states’ location.
During the Transcontinental Cultural Ecology, which in the Ross Spiral Curriculum spans Grades 6, 7, and 8--1450 BCE to 1416 CE--the city-state evolved into a central capital, with a periphery that was transformed into an empire to provide needed resources. Nomadic cultures were minimized as herdsmen become mounted cavalry with the domestication of the horse. Metallurgy became critical in the Bronze and Iron Ages, so securing mineral resources in territories and captured slaves for mining required a political evolution from headman or king with a council of elders to full-blown emperor. Metallurgy also enabled the development of portable value, in the form of coins. A trading class of merchants on land and sea began to weave the tapestry of a world economy both in the Mediterranean and via the transcontinental Silk Road. The portability of scrolls (and hence knowledge) also served to transform local cults into universal religions.
The Cultural Ecology for the Dynamical Mentality of Grades 9 and 10 is Oceanic, as people, goods, and ideas move across oceans and between continents as never before. Naval exploration and warfare, triangular trade, mercantilism, and emerging capitalist oceanic enterprises grew exponentially across the period from the early 1400s through the middle of the 19th century. In the Oceanic Cultural Ecology, the empire as polity sought to fix value in solids, like gold, and in a place, like the imperial capital, but the phase-space of a world economy created by the new mobile merchant class could not be fixed so easily, so new forms of banking and finance developed at a higher level of abstraction than coinage. New forms of movement, expressed in the design of ships of the Vikings and the Ming Dynasty, enabled empires to project their phase-space across vast oceans. This collapse of traditional forms of authority served to empower the individual and individualism as new forms of art in portraiture and the novel created narratives of movement from the Old World to the New World, and from rags to riches.
The Cultural Ecology of the Complex Dynamical Mentality is Biospheric--the integrated self-regulating ecological system that is the whole of Earth and its surrounding atmosphere, what is referred to as Gaia. What currencies were to the emergence of the modern world, atmospheric and oceanic currencies become for the new world of the global ecology. The carnage of World Wars, genocide, and totalitarian orders with unsurpassed control of media, communications, technology and resources, brought into focus “the conflict between the Mechanists and the Mystics in the articulation of values for a new world civilization.” This shift has been catalyzed by phenomena--such as space exploration and rapidly developing communications technology--that have contributed to an emerging planetary consciousness, and by issues such as the dependence upon fossil fuels that have impacted the earth’s biosphere, resulting in worldwide climate change. With the achievement of space travel and exploration, we, its inhabitants, were able to see ourselves from afar, as one globe, one people. A new consciousness arose, that of planetization. The conflict between the Mechanists and the Mystics is a tension that can be articulated as that between globalization, based on universal Enlightenment values and global economic structures struggling for perpetual growth--in which culture and consciousness flow outward from global centers of power to create a new world order--versus planetization, in which ideas, beliefs, and values flow in complex, dynamical ways, leading to the emergence of new forms of planetary culture and consciousness that unite global society in pursuit of a more just and equal world, one based on human rights, core values, and survival of the planet.
Grade 3: Evolution of Life on Earth
Grade 3 students study a vast span of time--from our earliest mammalian ancestors to the development of human society in the form of hunting and gathering bands, to Ice Age settlements such as Dolni Vestonice and Terra Amata. Students develop awareness that the self is situated in a world and that time itself is part of the process of their own empowerment and unfoldment in the world. In conjunction with their study of the origins of cave art and the earliest bone flutes, students learn of totemism, animism, and shamanism, spiritual beliefs and ritual practices that helped early humans explain worldly phenomena. The emergence of early call systems and the presence of early numeration in the form of artifacts with tally marks along with exaggerated fertility figurines is indicative of Upper Paleolithic society. The ability to use and control fire is believed to have contributed to growing brain size. Fire-cooked food not only made for easier digestion, but energy formerly used for digestion was now freed, allowing for development of the brain. Fire made for safer and healthier lives by warding off animals and insects, killing potential parasites and bacteria, and by melting stone and tree sap to make sturdier tools. The presence of mammoth bone and tusk huts and such tools indicate these nomadic bands of hunter gatherers applied their more complex brain capacity to aid in survival.
Grade 4: Social Systems, Early Settlements, and Agriculture
Grade 4 students study the transition from hunter and gatherer bands to agrarian clans through in-depth exploration of early human settlements such as Göbekli Tepe, Çatalhöyük, Banpo, and Skara Brae. They follow the movement of peoples from Africa, to Eurasia, Europe, the Americas, and Australia and deliberate the reasons for, and cultural ramifications of, immigration. Students in Grade 4 study the first food crops, domestication of animals, development of pottery, and the emergence of the first architecture whose main purpose was to store grain and food, to bury ancestors, and as ritualized sacred space, such as Göbekli Tepe. These early settlements contained evidence of quarrying, which explains the emergence of stone fortifications and megaliths best exemplified by Stonehenge and the megaliths of Malta. Archaeoastronomy is investigated through the study of these megalithic structures and their relationship to time, worship, and ritual. Students continue to explore the art of early peoples in the form of flutes that could play scales, and that of amply endowed female figurines, such as the Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük, found in abundance at Neolithic sites. Compared to their Upper Paleolithic stone predecessors, these figurines demonstrate greater artistic skill, possess facial features, and are fashioned of clay, indicating fire production. Such discoveries fueled the theory of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas that early matristic (woman-centered) or goddess worshipping cultures, were common in Neolithic society. During this period, pictographic glyphs and ideographic graphemes emerge as the earliest forms of writing, while Andean quipus, knotted dyed cotton cords, were used not only as computational devices, but as means for communicating narrative myths and histories.
Grade 5: The Rise of Riverine Civilizations
With the gradual evolution from village gardening under the guidance of women, to city-state agriculture with its male-driven oxen, plows, and state-controlled systems of irrigation, there occurred a coevolution from oral traditions and custom-based forms of matristic authority to political systems of power. Within this new system, literate priests and organized warriors restructured society in a formation, which scholars term “civilization.” This transformation of culture involved a shift from shamanism to organized religion. It also involved a shift from the generative values of procreation and numeration, embodied in the icon of the Great Goddess and the prehistoric Arithmetic Mentality, to a more abstract Arithmetic followed by a Geometric Mentality. The latter became embodied in writing, temple architecture, and astronomy, all three of which were articulated in the new system of male power and written laws controlled by high priests and military leaders.
Grade 6: Prophecy and Cultural Transformation
The rise of monumental architecture, temple-monopolized systems of writing, and standing armies led to a rigid and crystallized state of permanent war, but the appearance of new and more portable systems of writing spread by a new merchant and trading class enabled individuals to adopt cross-cultural values, share ideas, and question the validity of the values of the warrior and the high priest. This articulation of a new ideal beyond the real conditions of political society interacted with the globally spreading Geometric Mentality as individual prophets and philosophers energized a shift from ancient religions to classical philosophies and mathematics.
Grade 7: World Empires and Universal Religions
An empire expands in an effort to extend its political boundaries to become congruent with the peripheral boundaries of the natural resources that support the central ruling society. As trade and commerce help to circulate these resources, a new commercial class interacts with the military class to stabilize these systems of distribution. To legitimize the validity of the imperial power, a new institution, the Imperial School, is founded to rationalize physical force by a transcultural moral order. In the transformation of the charisma of an individual prophet to the routine of a school or a society, new universal religions arise in which the members are not restricted to the tribal identity of the founding prophet.
Grade 8: The Climax of Hierarchical Civilizations
Medieval civilizations were hierarchical societies that derived their identity from religious faith but based their social structures on land tenure, warrior status, and display. As competition and conflict arose among religious civilizations, new ideas were disseminated across boundaries, and new religious orders and mystical movements emerged that sought to relate the individual in an unmediated way to the source of the sacred. This shift from the temple-formed Geometric Mentality to the individually experienced Algebraic Mentality is expressed in new forms of literature that reveal an emphasis on the vision quest and the expression of personal and divine romantic love. It is also expressed in new forms of calligraphy, manuscript illumination, and mathematical understanding that demonstrate a shift from the concrete object or worldly state to a spiritual vision. This transcendental ideal is expressed in the celestial notation of the empowering script of alchemy and algebra.
Grade 9: The Emergence of the Modern Perspective
The archetypal idea for the ninth grade is movement, with a focus on the emergence of the Dynamical Mathematical Mentality articulating a new narrative for the nature of things, in which movement generates value. The movement of money through time produces interest; the movement of sailing vessels across oceans produces a new world; the movement of cannonballs destroys feudal fortifications and produces new strategic power; the movement of blood in circulation from the heart (and not the liver) sustains the life of the body; the movement of the heavenly bodies produces new scientific laws; and the movement of individuals out of their class produces a new identity of self in the formative picaresque story of a movement from rags to riches. All of these epiphanies of movement constitute the cultural shift from medievalism to modernism, from a world based on faith, to one based on reason.
Grade 10: Revolution and the Rise of the Individual
The focus of the Grade 10 is an intense sense of contemporaneity that impels the idea of revolution from the English “Glorious Revolution” to the Enlightenment; the American, French, and Latin American Revolutions; the Industrial Revolution; and the European Revolutions of 1848. The expansion of European civilization into the New World brings with it a new expansion and empowerment of the middle class. With the democratization of information through printing, the priest and the knight no longer hold between them the traditional structure of civilization. Instead, the scientist, the inventor, and the artist become new charismatic embodiments of a time of change. The dissenting ministers with their congregations, the scientists and inventors with their learned societies, the revolutionaries with their pamphlets and printing presses, and the artists as charismatic geniuses with their own followings all create a new cultural myth of individuality that transforms the millennia-old formations of domination and governance. These political movements are energized by the new sciences in which “explosion” in chemistry and the questioning of time in the context of Earth’s history in geology produce new visions of the possibilities for change.
Grade 11: Global Economic Consolidation and Visionary Revolts
Modernization produces visionary movements that affirm the validity of consciousness and non-rational experience. This conflict between the Mechanists and the Mystics in the articulation of values for a new world civilization continues to this day. Transnational phenomena such as the Great Depression, world wars, and new political alliances illustrate an increasingly interconnected world. The precedents of the post–World War II International Military Tribunals and the United Nations’ adoption of the Convention on Genocide and its Universal Declaration of Human Rights represent the triumph of internationalism over isolationism and the further development of global consciousness.
Grade 12: Evolution of Consciousness
In the capstone year, a recapitulation of the Spiral Curriculum is undertaken. Multiple arts and sciences are employed to explore the evolution of human consciousness and to study the kinds of mythic, artistic, and scientific expressions humans have created to explain who/what we are, where we come from, and where we imagine going. Students study the past in order to understand the present and envision the future.
When Ross School refers to The List as the archetype of the Arithmetic Mentality we use the example of the 18th century BCE Code of Laws of King Hammurabi, a king of the first Babylonian Dynasty. Written in the form of a repetitive list, we see that this form is still used in legal code. Other examples of The List is the recitation of the Sumerian goddess Inanna upon receiving the Mes, or powers of the gods to give to humankind for the establishment of civilization, along with the Sumerian King List. Hieroglyphic itemization of objects the Egyptian pharaohs took with them to the underworld as well the The Instruction of Dua-Khety (aka Satire of the Trades) written by an Egyptian scribe as instruction for future scribes.
In Grade 6, the Geometric Mentality reaches a dominant stage of expression with the development of ideal proportion and harmony and the formal shift from matristic (woman-centered) cultures to patriarchy. The emergence of the rational mind heralds a shift from magic to mathematics and from mythology to philosophy that reveals increasing complexity in the relationship between number, form and the ideal or divine. The harmony inherent in classical architecture was key to understanding the sacred on earth as exemplified by the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. During this dominant stage of the Geometric Mentality, The Temple, as harmonic architecture, emerges as the Archetype.
The emergence of Islam plays a significant role in this period. Students focus on how the ineffability of Allah and increasing cross-cultural encounters with the spread of the new religion might have contributed to the symbolism, allegory and iconography that was so central to the medieval period. Symbolic, mystical code or celestial notation is read in such Islamic forms as calligraphy, complex geometry, algebra, alchemy, architecture, the whirling of Sufi dervishes and the poetry of Rumi. It is also present in Christian relic worship, bestiaries, cathedral sculpture, architecture, and rose windows; troubadours' chansons d'amour, and the medieval Code of Chivalry in feudal Europe. Codification of behavior based on hierarchical social status determined by feudal economies contributes to ritualized customs and esoteric symbolism, as in the Samurai culture of medieval Japan. The intense religiosity of the time period, along with land-based economies, saturate the wider cultural world with warfare and fanaticism at worst, mysticism and poetry at best, resulting in "symbolic code" as the archetype for this unit.
The archetype for this Mentality is Movement, as people, goods, and ideas move across oceans and between continents as never before. The Dynamical Mathematical Mentality articulates a new narrative for the nature of things, in which motion generates value. The motion of money through time produces interest; the motion of sailing vessels produces encounters and collisions of culture across oceans and continents; the motion of cannonballs destroys ancient and feudal fortifications, protects navies, and produces new strategic power empires; the discovery that the movement of blood in circulation from the heart (and not the liver) sustains the life of the body; knowledge of the the motion of the heavenly bodies produces new scientific laws (the shift from a geocentric to heliocentric worldview as a result of the work of Copernicus; Galileo's application of mathematics to the study of motion); and the motion of individuals out of their class produces a new identity of self in the formative picaresque story of a movement from rags to riches. All of these epiphanies of movement constitute the cultural shift from medievalism to modernism, with the emergence of the new mathematics of motion in calculus and the mapping of a new world space in a global economy.
The archetype for this Mentality is speed, the wedding of time to space in the acceleration of culture through modernization by new cultural vehicles of the world-city and the World War. In both of these large-scale organizations of culture, new transportation vehicles - the railroad, automobile, truck, tank, airplane, jet, and rocket - and new methods of communication - the telegraph, telephone and ultimately digital technologies - have enormous impact on traditional cultures and religious worldviews. Modernization produces visionary movements that affirm the validity of consciousness and non-rational experience. This conflict between the Mechanists and the Mystics in the articulation of values for a new world civilization continues to this day as a theme expressed in a struggle between globalization and planetization. In the time period of the Complex Dynamical Mentality, accelerating global connections, transnational phenomena, and the challenging of "truths" that had been established by the previous rationalism of western science create a more complex understanding of perspectival difference and even, what is knowable.
The design of course structure is quite modular. Since the Evolution of Consciousness narrative centers around the 5 Mathematical Mentalities and the Bifurcations between these Mentalities, the course was divided into 5 major units, each focusing on a Mentality. Each unit was further broken into Learning Experiences (LEs) by Grade Levels that makes up the corresponding Mentalities. Each LE contains similar structure and sequence of activities such as videos, quizzes, interactive explorations, forum discussions, and assessments, providing a sense of familiarity to the learners as they advance in the course.
Exploration of Art & Artifacts
Evolution of Consciousness course is particularly rich in art and artifacts as they are cultural representatives throughout human history. In order to help the learners grasp the deep meaning inside the artifacts, the designed embedded the images through out the videos, and repeated key artifacts with detailed annotations in subsequent activities. Such scaffolded repetition strengthens learners memories and familiarity on these artifacts and makes sure that learners are comfortable talking about them in subsequent forum discussions.
Since the concept of Evolution of Consciousness is complex and consists of multiple aspects, it is important for the assessment in the course to thoroughly evaluate if the learners fully grasped the knowledge and possibly to identify where confusions can be cleared up. Below is an early concept prototype for such assessment to happen. The learners are provided a specific cultural in history, presented with multimedia materials and asked to identify the Cultural Ecologies and Mathematical Mentalities they learnt from the course and provide evidence. Such reflection on the key concepts helps them internalize newly learned knowledge as well as practice on how to make use of such knowledge in the classroom on their own.
Evolution of Consciousness course was piloted among Ross School faculty in the summer of 2017, along with other Professional Development courses the design team produced. Over 80 faculty members took the course online. Even though the course was created to accomodate a fully online experience, the course was rolled out in a hybrid manner, providing facilitator support and group decisions offline. Course was well received and minor adjustments were made upon user feedback after the pilot. 30+ new faculties has taken this course, along with all other Professional Development courses post-revision, in a pure online setting.
A redesign of existing curriculum pages to encourage daily uses by solving the UX and data structural issues. Responsibility in the team: UX designer.
A web app design to improve the workflow between mentors and students on Senior Projects at Ross School. Responsibility in the team: UX designer.
A bird eye view of other RLS components I had worked on in 2018 as the UX designer.
A custom designed online learning platform to accommodate special need of Ross School for its Professional Development and Certificate program. Responsibility in the team: lead instructional, UX designer.
An interactive glossary that facilitates the learning in Professional Courses and highlights the connections between related concepts in the same contest. Responsibility in the team: UX designer.
GMAT courses completely redesigned for E-learning environment and online community. A complete commercial project with full and successful implementation. More than 5,000 students enrolled up to Dec, 2018. Responsibility in the team: instructor, instructional designer, content developer, UX designer.
Built from scratch, this application is designed specifically to help Chinese GMAT test takers prepare and practice Reading Comprehension, and in the meantime, facilitate students from All in One courses to internalize what's been taught in class. Single-handedly designed and developed the application. Responsibilities include: data tidying, system architect, UI/UX designer, developer, user testing.