MAS.714J | Fall 2009 | Graduate

Technologies for Creative Learning


For the final project, your assignment is to design and test new features, new support materials, or new activities for a creative learning technology. For documentation, you will write a “design brief” discussing the motivations, rationale, and principles underlying your design; and for our final class session, produce a poster and give a presentation.

You are welcome (in fact, encouraged) to work in groups. If possible, you should test your tool / materials / activities with sample users.


  • Ses #8: Draft of short proposal describing your ideas for the final project; in-class discussion of project proposals
  • The week between Ses #8 and Ses #9 (no class due to Veteran’s Day holiday): final proposal for project due
  • Ses #9: Peer feedback on proposals; deadline for having met with Karen and Mitch about project
  • Ses #11: In-class, poster-based presentations (posters should be 4’ by 3')
  • Two days after Ses #11: Papers due — no longer than 10 pages, only 1 paper per group required.

Guidelines and Examples

Design Briefs

Outline of the key elements of a design brief (PDF)

Below are four examples of design briefs from the prior year’s course (courtesy of the students and used with permission). We hope that they will provide you with a sense of how and what to include in a design brief.

  • “Designing groups for Scratch: Conceptual exploration” by Sophia Yuditskaya (PDF)
  • “Object investigator: An interface for thinking about the objects that inspire us” by Adam Kumpf (PDF)
  • “Reflection via communication in Scratch” by Justin Lai (PDF)
  • “Tinkering together: Enabling synchronous creativity and distributed collaboration for kids” by Agnes Chang (PDF)


You should create a 48" x 36" poster for the final session.

Here are some examples of what a poster might look like (courtesy of the authors and used with permission):

  • “Utilizing technology to support the development of empathy” by Anonymous MIT student and Karen Brennan (PDF)
  • “ScratchEd” by Karen Brennan (PDF)
  • “A Networked, Media-Rich Programming Environment to Enhance Informal Learning and Technological Fluency at Community Technology Centers” [Scratch] by Mitchel Resnik, Yasmin Kafai, and John Maeda (PDF)
  • “Topic models and data portraiture” by Aaron Zinman and Doug Fritz (PDF)

Note that these posters aren’t necessarily the correct size and don’t necessarily have an ideal amount of text. They are intended as inspiration, not as templates.

As for creating the poster, this guidelines for posters document describes how to create a poster using powerPoint or illustrator. It also has suggestions for fonts, sizes, images.

Example Student Projects

This material is presented courtesy of the students and used with permission.

“A Brief Artbotics Exploration for Educators” by Jennifer Casper (PDF) (PDF) (PDF) Overview, Hardware and Software Reference (PDF)
“Ting-Bing: Constructionist Architecture for Adventure Classrooms” by Sam Kronick (PDF) (PDF - 1.1MB) (PDF - 3.7MB)  
“Using Scratch to enhance students’ 21st century scientific thinking skills” by Y. Debbie Liu (PDF) (PDF - 1.2MB) (PDF)  

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets with Solutions
Projects with Examples
Activity Assignments with Examples