Miro: a new model for studio crits

Figure 1 Comments from peers on Student’s curated whiteboard gallery.

Constraints are often the last thing you want in a creative project, but they can also inspire us to explore new practices and test our ingenuity.

Unable to run their studio crits in person this past year, BA User Experience Design (UXD) decided to try something different. Using Miro, an online collaborative whiteboarding tool, students were able to present their work, showcase its evolution, and receive comprehensive feedback from their peers.

Each student curated their own whiteboard space, adding descriptions, work-in-progress documents, and the final outcome of their work. Other students were able to view their whiteboard and leave detailed comments that often lead to impactful conversations and feedback.

Figure 2 Example of a student’s Miro board.

“We also wanted there to be an opportunity for students to speak live about their work to fill in gaps and contextualize,” Gareth Foote, course leader for UXD, noted, so “each individual in their group of 4-5 presented live in Collaborate Ultra for five minutes with slides or by screen-sharing their curated whiteboard.”

After a group presented the whole cohort would explore the individual boards, posting questions and observations while the board owners replied in real time.

Figure 3 Each yellow speech bubble is a conversation. Some are just single comments but others are more in depth conversations/feedback.

The new format proved even more successful than the course team anticipated. Students fed back that they felt less pressure then they normally would during the Q&A because they had already received asynchronous feedback on their work.

“One student told me that they usually don’t contribute in Crits,” Gareth said, “but in this case they were able to take more time to consider, examine the content and ask better questions.”

Students also noted that unlike a traditional Crit, feedback was saved in the margins of their work allowing them to better remember and respond to comments. They also described in their reflections methodically using their peer’s feedback to change their designs. Others enjoyed the fact that they received a notification when a comment was posted allowing them to start a dicussion or see others engaging in conversations alongside their work.

If you want to learn more about Miro or other creative uses for virtual whiteboarding tools, please join our next Digital Learning Open Forum at the end of January when one of our five guest speakers will demonstrate how she uses them in her own teaching.

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