The ORBIT problem-solving activity will be implemented in two different settings: with in-service teachers during of a workshop on “collaboration”, and with municipal staff members in the context of their professional trainings on soft skills and diversity.
The tabletop-activity will be based on group-worthy tasks whose difficulty will increase as the participants progress.
- In a first phase, participants will, for example, have to discover how to steer an unknown vehicle demanding them to simultaneously operate several control devices (materialized by widgets). The process of mastering the steering of the vehicle will provide participants with a shared experience of successful joint problem solving.
- In the subsequent phase the difficulty of the problem is increased by implementing supplementary challenges to be overcome by the participants to complete the task successfully. Coping successfully with the dynamics of the designed problem requires the participants to rely on multiple resources, create a joint focus, work interdependently, exchange ideas and information, and co-construct a shared understanding.
The design process will use seven iterations (two walkthroughs and five trials), which progressively deal with a different focus and related sub-activities of the tabletop activity. The five trials will be video-recorded from different angles and perspectives generating approximately fifteen hours of video data. The videos will be searched to identify relevant sequences (accounts of collaboration, accounts of breakdown) and the findings will feed back into the design process.