Coaching Questions Group 8

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To help your group and the teachers prepare for the tutor meetings, we would like you to answer a few questions in between sessions. The following paragraphs list the questions for each of the weeks, please write you answers directly underneath the questions.


After the kick-off - Week 1

  • What are you expecting to learn during the Robots course?
Wouter: The ability to implement the knowledge acquired in the previous two courses.
Nikki: I expect to learn about the possibilities to use the knowledge we gained in the earlier courses.
Dirk: Applying knowledge gained from earlier courses as well as working with an interdisciplinary team.
Mees van (D)ongen: I expect to learn a lot about the chosen subject. Next to this, doing a more real-world situation in which Artificial Intelligence can be used will improve my understanding.
Mitchell (S)chijen: To be able to apply knowledge gained during previous courses (of this USE package and from other courses of my bachelor). Furthermore, I expect to gain experience from working in a multidisciplinary team on a real-world problem.
  • What kind of coaching do you expect?
W: More subtle guidance than actual coaching, in the sense that we will not be told where to go, but that we rather are stopped if we are going in completely the wrong direction.
N: I expect the coaches to ask questions and give hints that lead us to look more critically at our own work.
D: Critical questions about our work so far and our future plans.
MD: I expect the coaches to share their experiences and insights in artificial intelligence and the project as a whole.
MS: I expect that the coaches will use the meetings to get us to critically reflect on our work and that we are encouraged to fix problems ourselves. I also expect that we will be warned should there be critical issues with our topic or if we set unreasonable goals for ourselves.
  • What kind of coaching would you prefer?
W: I am personally more fond of feedback regardless of the results. Not only saying when something is wrong but also when we are headed in a right direction. It gives a bit more peace of mind whilst working on a project.
N: I hope the coaches will guide us when we don't know which direction to go with our project, and that they will indicate if we are on the right track or not so we have the possibility to adapt our approach as needed to deliver a successful project.
D: I hope the coaches will us decide whether we are on the right track and should keep going or if we should head in a different direction.
MD: I prefer a guiding coach, who is critical.
MS: I would prefer it if we are informed about common missteps that can occur during these projects. It would also be nice to get feedback on the viability of our planning, as well as feedback regarding the quality of our work (are certain aspects of subpar quality?)
  • What will the coaches expect of you?
W: Well, considering my lack of actual expertise concerning robotics (apart from the two other use robotics courses), I think the best thing to realise is that I try and I mean well.
N: I think that the coaches expect us to look critically at both our own work and the work of our group members. I also think the coaches expect us to participate actively in the feedback sessions (i.e. asking questions rather than just awaiting feedback).
D: I think that they want us to make clear what we have done so far and what our future plans are.
MD: To engage, to keep promises, to do, to learn, to fail and try again. All in all, to do a project seriously.
MS: I expect that the coaches want us to take responsibility for the work we do, that we work thoroughly and set realistic goals, and that we actively contribute to the project. I also expect that it is desired that we use the unique backgrounds of our members to improve the quality of our work. And that we are able to critically reflect on the work that we have done.

After the first tutor meeting - Week 2

  • What is the most interesting thing you learned in the coaching meeting of the previous week and why?
The most interesting thing we learned was to not be too quick in saying that something is not doable. For example, before the first coaching meeting, we thought that is was not a reasonable expectation to test the product before the end the end of the project, but now we are looking into ways in which we can possibly test our product. We also learned that it is very important to work together with the group and discuss our separate work and findings so that we all know the current state of the project.
  • How did you incorporate coaches' feedback of the previous meeting in your project?
Based on the feedback we received during the previous feedback session we started specifying what we actually want to deliver by the end of the project. We also adapted our literature study slightly to reflect the topic we are actually focussing on.
  • What new activities did you undertake during this week? What did you learn from these activities?
We created a description of system functionality in which we specified what functionalities we want our product to have by the end of the course. This description can be used to create a more detailed planning since it provides an indication of the tasks that need to be done. From writing this description we learned what it is that we actually want to create. We also started on the front-end of the online-learning system we are developing.
  • What did you do to prepare for next week's meeting?
Everyone read/looked at the work that was done by the other group members so that we all know what has been done so far.

After the second tutor meeting - Week 3

  • What is the most interesting thing you learned in the coaching meeting of the previous week and why?
We learned that our topic was still too broad. We also learned that we should decide on a time frame in which we want to test our product and that this time frame can be relatively short compared to our initial suggestions.
  • How did you incorporate coaches' feedback of the previous meeting in your project?
Based on the coaches' feedback, we researched existing open-source learning management systems that we could extend. We also wrote down a research question and hypothesis, and started on a test plan to indicate how we want to test our product.
  • What new activities did you undertake during this week? What did you learn from these activities?
A test plan was written, to be able to do this we had to define what it actually is we want to test. Existing learning management systems were researched, but we came to the conclusion that implementing a small system specific to our research question from scratch was more time efficient, as the documentation of the open source systems lacked and the systems were too big to make changes quickly. We also described the impact of our literature study, this made it more clear what features the final product should have.
  • What did you do to prepare for next week's meeting?
Everyone read/looked at the work that was done by the other group members so that we all know what has been done so far.

After the third tutor meeting - Week 4

  • What is the most interesting thing you learned in the coaching meeting of the previous week and why?
The coaching meeting mainly helped us get a better overview of what still needs to be done. We were able to list the remaining tasks, and were thus able to determine everyone's tasks for this week.
  • How did you incorporate coaches' feedback of the previous meeting in your project?
We divided the additional tasks that were determined during the coaching meeting, so that everyone could start working on those as well.
  • What new activities did you undertake during this week? What did you learn from these activities?
We started with the implementation in Moodle and researched the plug-ins to use in our implementation. From this we learned the basic set-up of Moodle, and how to create courses, quizzes, etc. We also contacted schools in Eindhoven to try to find participants for a focus group.
  • What did you do to prepare for next week's meeting?
Everyone read/looked at the work that was done by the other group members so that we all know what has been done so far. We also planned a short meeting before our feedback session to discuss the progress.

After the fourth tutor meeting - Week 5

  • What is the most interesting thing you learned in the coaching meeting of the previous week and why?
A big mistake became clear during the last meeting. Due to a misunderstanding, choices were made that jeopardized the testing of our prototype. This incident shows that the communication within the group can be improved, and it illustrates how important the responsibilities of each member are.
  • How did you incorporate coaches' feedback of the previous meeting in your project?
After the meeting, we attempted to reconnect to the school that was interested in partaking in our experiment. However, this has not proven to be successful. Considering the limited time, it was decided to change the focus group into an online survey. This lowers the boundary to entry and may allow us to gather some information from the potential clientele.
  • What new activities did you undertake during this week? What did you learn from these activities?
At the start of the week, we discussed how we would go about the issue of long-term gamification. Eventually, we decided that for our testing prototype we would have to compromise and make two versions of the prototype course; one that features gamification, and one that does not. In this way, it becomes possible to investigate the effect of gamification.
  • What did you do to prepare for next week's meeting?
Like we did for previous meetings, everyone read/looked at the work that was done by the other group members and we planned a short meeting before our feedback session to discuss the progress.

After the fifth tutor meeting - Week 6

  • What is the most interesting thing you learned in the coaching meeting of the previous week and why?
We came to realise that we shouldn't underestimate ourselves, which led us to work extra hard on the final part of the project, and we think it was worthwile.
  • How did you incorporate coaches' feedback of the previous meeting in your project?
The largest part of the meeting we discussed what we could still do to improve our work, and the coaches helped us identify which aspects specifically we could add to the online learning system. We worked on improving or creating these aspects.
  • What new activities did you undertake during this week? What did you learn from these activities?
We worked on the online learning system, which gave us renewed insight into the plugins and overall working of moodle.
  • What did you do to prepare for next week's meeting?
We worked on the presentation. In order to do so, we looked once more at what everyone had done, so that we could effectively make a brief overview of our progress. Also, we made a video of the workings of the online learning system.

After the final presentation - Week 7

  • What are the major steps of the project? Please list
    • Determining research subject
    • Performing literature study
    • Creating design recommendations based on literature study
    • Develop conceptual model using design recommendations; create design requirements
    • Evaluate first iteration (conceptual model) in focus group (failed)
    • Completely develop first iteration of prototype
    • Evaluate first iteration of prototype using experiment with high school students (failed)
    • Write report that covers work on conceptual model, development of prototype, and testing of prototype.
  • What is the most important thing you learned in this project? (e.g .about design or working in groups, etc)
WM: I learnt a lot about how to tackle a completely open-ended problem. How to set it up, what to look out for, etc.
NB: The most important thing I learned is to not be too quick to judge something as too difficult, but to see things as challenges.
MS: This project was one of the most open ended courses I have had during my bachelor. As such I would argue the most important thing I have learned in the project entails working with the pressure that comes from setting up and executing a research plan that satisfies the demands of such an open setting. Although I do feel that we did not fully succeed, I do think we have learned from tackling a project such as this one.
DH: I learned a lot about the problems you can run into when dealing with a very open ended project, specifically making realistic concrete plans.
MD: I learned that there is a need for strict rules and guidelines when doing a project with a multidisciplinary team.
  • What do you wish you had spent more time on or done differently?
WM: I wish we had made our problem statement more concrete earlier on. We were told during the first 2 meetings that we needed to specify our problem more clearly, and thus we lost a lot of time with that. Furthermore, I wish we had started contacting schools earlier on during the project, because I think the lack of reactions in part relates to the short term on which we tried to contact schools. Lastly I wish we had not been so quick to dismiss the reaction we received to a possible test.
NB: I wish we had spent more time on the adaptation of existing plugins so that the end result would feel more like something we had created. Currently, the online learning system we delivered feels more like something we put together than like something we really created. I also wish we had been more open to opportunities for testing that did not exactly match what we wanted.
MS: In hindsight I would have liked if there was a stronger chain of command in the group. As there was no definite group leader some things regarding planning and task division went sloppier than they could have gone. Additionally, personally I would have liked to help more with the development of the prototype.
DH: I think We should have spend more time on laying out concrete future plans and distributing tasks within our group. I also would have liked it if we focused more on what does not exist yet instead of spending time putting together our prototype consiting of things that already exist.
MD: We should have looked more at the qualities specific to each person, and go from there when deciding which projects were feasible for our team. Appointing a group leader should be one of the top priorities before any work is going to be done. Involving experts and stakeholders earlier would be a good thing.
  • What was the most enjoyable part of this project? Please explain why
WM: Although it made the project a bit more challenging because it was less directed, the freedom we got in doing our project was a lot of fun.
NB: I enjoyed the part of the project where we had discovered the possibilities of Moodle and could start on implementing features in the system.
MS: The most enjoyable part was when the team gained focus on the topic and we managed to use the literature study to come up with design requirements that were suitable for creating a functional system.
DH: The part I most enjoyed was researching the existing systems around online learning.
MD: I enjoyed gaining knowledge from literature on the topic of education, and reading the summaries of what other group members had found.
  • What was the least enjoyable part of this project? Please explain why
WM: I would have liked to hear at some point that we were doing something right, no matter how small. Now, all we heard was criticism and that what we were doing was not good enough, which was very demotivating.
NB: I least enjoyed the first two weeks of the process since we were still figuring out what we wanted to do. Because it was not clear what we really wanted to do it was really difficult to work on the project since it was unclear whether or not you were actually working on the right thing.
MS: I really would have liked some confirmation from the coaches early on about the validity of our chosen subject. I personally had some doubts whether our chosen topic was relevant enough for a robotics course, so in the first few weeks I was doubting whether we could bet everything on this topic, or if we had to rapidly change to another topic entirely which would be more in line with conventional robotics or AI research. Additionally, I worried a lot about the issues we faced with trying to test the concept and prototype, and how we were unable to complete those plans.
DH: What I least enjoyed was the uncertainty we had about our choices and the fact that we kind of lacked a clear concrete goal, especially at the start.
MD: I disliked the openness of the course. I would rather have worked in a more confined research area. An initial description or a goal would be nice. We can then start doing actual work earlier, getting more from the 8 weeks.
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