One size doesn’t fit all and get a robot to do it – a conversation with Dr. Yong Zhao

January 15, 2019 | | Design

Last week, Dr. Yong Zhao gave a talk at the MU titled What Works May Hurt: Side Effects in Education. I couldn’t attend the talk due to a pretty packed schedule of meetings #firstweekback. However, did you know Dr. Zhao and Punya are old friends? These two academics go way back, like way back. Like way, way back. As in they raised their kids together. So, our office scored the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Zhao and just talk.

Leaving that Thursday #OofSI fireside chat, my mind was blown. Dr. Zhao raised the point that changing a system can lead to not-so-great side effects for a group (although there might be positive side effects for others). Design for the user and not the experience. Think about your specific users and what their needs are. Leverage technology to take care of your mundane tasks (or ones that aren’t your strengths). Specialize. Small batch sizes. Test. Get feedback. Refine. Test again. I felt like I was sitting in my Operations and Supply Chain Management class from last spring mixed with what we do in our office on a daily basis and topped off with a little bit of Lean Launch Methodology. WOW. I get so excited about opportunities like this one. Sitting down with a group of passionate educational innovators/changemakers and talking about how to positively impact education is part of my job. Seriously?! #grateful