By: Zsofia Walter

The understand process pushed me to accept being in a limbo state. Typically I have an urge to find direction, but with the Understand phase I had to learn to remain in exploration. Ensuring that I was delving deeply into the problem space and appreciating each perspective I encountered, while resisting the urge to impose my own viewpoint or focus on one direction. My team was incredibly helpful in this aspect, we would discuss and remind one another to step back when we felt we were narrowing our scope.

Once we had conducted in-depth interviews and discussions with students and faculty, we were able to begin the process of narrowing our scope, identifying specific areas to focus on. This process was incredibly gratifying as we were able to download our insights and then collectively analyze the data. I truly feel as though we got a complete understanding of the stakeholders in the online learning space. The themes we found are real problems, ones I believe are solvable, and I’m looking forward to tackling them.

I am incredibly proud of my team in balancing thinking about the next step, but not rushing to it. Everyone has really focused on understanding our stakeholders, and yet I feel we have all tentatively began reflecting upon insights, and considering next steps. I am also incredibly grateful that other teams have prioritized Open Sourcing, reminding us that we all benefit from sharing information and sources. Collaborating has led me to contemplate other angles than I might have.