Clinic Format

  • About UGP (10-15mins)
  • Playtesting (10-15mins)
  • Ideation (10-15mins)
  • Feedback (10-15mins)
    • Sticky Note Board
    • Focus Group
    • Exit Survey


What are UGP Co-Design Clinics?

Our Co-Design Clinics are interactive sessions where we collaboratively shape and refine various components of the Urban Griots Playground ecology for early childhood.

“Co-design” refers to a participatory approach to designing solutions, in which community members are treated as equal collaborators in the design process. This approach goes beyond consultation by building and deepening equal collaboration between those affected by, or attempting to, resolve a particular challenge.

Urban Griots Playground (UGP) Co-Design Clinics provide a mechanism for involving multiple stakeholders in the design and development of embodied and digital learning activities and tools with the goal of creating curricula and pedagogical strategies that are more culturally-grounded, effective, and satisfying to the children, families and practitioners who will adopt them.

What defines the UGP signature ecology/pedagogy?

The UGP signature pedagogy extends the NIH Music-Based Intervention Toolkit by integrating cultural systems, practices and tools (like drumming and drum language) in combination with multimodal human-computer interaction (HCI) to create an alternative early learning experience that involves identity development, alongside cognitive, socioemotional and sensorimotor development.

The core components comprising the UGP Triadic Framework are Embodied Learning, Digital Literacy and Experiential Learning. It is the combination of these three elements (each contributing uniquely) that constitutes the UGP ecology of learning. And it is by developing these three aspects in parallel that one cultivates a holistic learning experience that engages the whole child. While the basic pieces are in place for all the major building blocks of the intervention, Phase I of the pilot study will validate and extend a number of these components.

Embodied Learning

This component emphasizes activities that are both embodied and interactive, with a special focus on the cultural significance of physical engagement and sensory experiences for Black and Brown children. It is tailored to encourage active participation, whether individually or in groups, and integrates cultural practices that resonate deeply with these communities.

Digital Literacy

Recognizing not just the role of technology in education, but also the essential need for multiliteracy and digital skills to navigate and thrive in the 21st-century information society. This component integrates digital tools like educational apps and interactive games, not just as technological aids in education, but as foundational elements for developing digital literacy from an early age.

Experiential Learning

Through tactile and multimodal exploration, young learners actively engage with key concepts in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This aspect is particularly pertinent for young learners and aligns with STEM/STEAM learning objectives. It involves engaging activities like playing drums to explore the physics of sounds, art projects to explore natural phenomena, and simple construction tasks that introduce basic principles of engineering and technology.

Domain Practice Community

Phases of Design Thinking Process

Design thinking is a process that involves five phases according to the Interaction Design Foundation. In the current playtesting phase, the Urban Griot Playground workshop ecosystem is being evaluated as a context of research for studying literacy/STEM skills development.

Topics of Upcoming Co-Design Clinic Sessions
1. Stakeholder Engagement - What is the current UGP landscape of stakeholders and how could this be further expanded? What are the optimal strategies/methods for engagement of different stakeholder groups? What are viable feedback mechanisms for continuous improvement?
2. Workshop Experience I: Circle Activities - How will the participants in the UGP workshop engage in embodied circle activities?
3. Conversation/Communication Plan - How are we designing for conversation / open dialogue / communication with participants and stakeholders over time?
4. Learning Kit - How are we supporting the UGP community to develop its own shared repertoire of practices, tools and artifacts? How are we providing opportunities for participants/families to reflect their own repertoire of cultural practices in the material presented?
5. Workshop Experience II: Construction Activities - How will the participants in the UGP workshop engage in construction/tinkering activities?
6. Workshop Experience III: Digital Activities - How will the participants in the UGP workshop engage in digital/virtual activities?
7. Quest Cards - How are we disseminating the curriculum and centering the formation of identity as a part of the community’s learning?
8. Data Collection Plan - How are we centering the monitoring of child performance data as a part of the community’s learning?