Design thinking to rethink student engagement

During the month of November, more than thirty teachers took part in an extraordinary exercise in a school context. At the initiative of Collège Ste-Anne, teachers from several establishments participated in 3 design thinking workshops to conceptualize ideas aimed at fostering student engagement in the current situation.

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During the month of November, more than thirty teachers took part in an extraordinary exercise in a school context. At the initiative of the Collège Ste-Anne, teachers from several establishments participated in 3 design thinking to conceptualize ideas for fostering student engagement in the current situation. The École branchée also took part in these sessions at the invitation of the Colleague.

“We wanted to know the issues experienced by teachers since the start of the pandemic and after the start of the 2020 school year. 36 teachers have embarked on a creative process to find ways to make learning engaging for students in a distance education context, ”says Isabelle Senécal, director of educational innovation at Collège Sainte-Anne, who led this project.

The workshop of design thinking (or creative design process) was driven by The Factry, specializing in the management of ideation sessions that help organizations find solutions to the issues they encounter. During the 3 sessions of 2h30, each team was able to develop a main problem, imagine a concrete solution and submit it to the whole group. The animator of the Fracty, Alexandre Joyce, shared his experience with the teachers:

 “Animating a group of teachers is more difficult and easier at the same time. It is more difficult because I know that they will be attentive at the same time to the material than to the manner. The teachers not only learn the principles of creativity like divergence and convergence, but I knew they were attentive to my animation techniques too. What is easier is participation. Teachers are often extroverted people who get on board and participate easily. All of them have positive energy to share. "

As the current context requires, the discussions mainly focused on maintaining student engagement in a context of hybrid and distance education. How do you enable adolescents to participate more in discussions during online classroom activities? How to help them to engage in the tasks to be carried out? How can the teacher engage the students and maximize the interactions?

The discussions were rich in reflection for the teachers who were able to discuss their reality with colleagues and find attentive ears beyond the mere search for solutions linked to the workshop itself. At the end of the exercise, the participants left with several avenues to explore in their practices.


“Teaching is an excuse to connect with others. The current context forces us to reinvent the concept of relationship. "

A participant


Dimension (s) of digital competence related to this article
10- Solve a variety of digital problems

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About the Author

Maryline Barrette Dubé
A graduate of a bachelor's degree in public communication, a “marketer” for more than 15 years, Maryline has been working to promote École branchée's activities and to publicize the organization's mandate since 2018. She is a devoted mother, an assumed epicurean. and IPA lover who, in her spare time, enjoys blog.

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