Workshop in Progress

Problem Solving

Critically analyzing information to assess a multi-faceted problem to provide an insightful solution. 

Task 

In an upper year Digital Arts Communications course, I was given the task to create a "Good Times Journal". The Good Times Journal Assignment required me to write down my day to day activities while recording my engagement and energy levels in order to try and pinpoint the lows and highs of my days. I was able to pinpoint when I was the least engaged and had low energy.  In order to eliminate this problem, I demonstrated my Problem Solving skills to figure out how to increase my energy and engagement during these points of the day in order to create my most fulfilling life possible. I was able to break down this problem into smaller, more manageable parts in order to fully understand its origin and to create a plan to solve it.

My Actions 

In order to successfully raise both my energy and engagement levels throughout my day, I first had to figure out why they were low. By breaking down this problem into smaller, more manageable parts, I knew that it would be the most efficient way to analyze the problem and learn from it. I first discovered that when I was disengaged, I often had low energy. Once I was discovered this, I was able to connect the two so that if I increased my engagement levels my energy levels would also increase. After analyzing my day to day activities, I was able to pinpoint certain parts of my day that I was constantly disengaged in every week no matter the circumstances. The most common was a lecture style class that involves little to no class discussion or inclusion. I thrive in team-based environments where I am able to brainstorm and interact with others, and this class does not allow me to do this which explains my lack of engagement. Once I pinpointed that this problem was the root of my disengagement, I had to analyze how to become more engaged during this lecture in order to also boost my energy levels. I decided to break down my class lecture notes into sections in order to create engaging visuals for myself, as I was not able to engage with classmates during this style of lecture. I created different headings and subheadings to break down the lecture into sections and as we finished each section I would put a checkmark next to it to signify that it was completed. By writing down when each section of the lecture was completed, I felt as though time went by a lot faster and I remained focused and engaged for the lectures entirety. I was also able to change the colours and fonts of the notes in order to make my notes even more engaging. Creating this specific kind of notes allowed me to have some kind of structured schedule in a lecture opposed to it being just one block of time.

Result 

Using visual techniques like colour coating headings and using different fonts allowed me to feel engaged and focussed during lectures. By creating notes that were visually appealing and easy to breakdown, I was able to retain my focus and stayed engaged throughout the entire lecture. I was able to implement this into other situations that I was feeling disengaged in by making them interactive for myself which higher my engagement, boosted my energy, and created better days as a whole. By breaking down the problem into smaller, more manageable parts, I was able to further development my Problem Solving Skills.

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Figure 1. Good Times Journal showcasing my low engagement and energy levels. 

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Figure 2. The solution to raising my engagement and energy by creating interactive notes.