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"Co-creation can take place at any point along the design development process: pre-design, discover, design, make [iterate]" (Sanders,Elizabeth B.-N, and Pieter Jan Stappers. Convivial Design Toolbox. 1st ed. Amsterdam: BIS, 2014. Print.).

Discovery phase includes co-discovery.

Workshop planning includes co-planners.

Post event documentation aims to maintain individual thinking and contributions.

Room Setup

  • 2 computers set up with Skype, web camera, and speakers / mic
  • Pens, pencils, pencil crayons
  • Markers
  • Whiteboard markers
  • Chart paper
  • Sets of marble run on tables (arrange according to breakout groups)
  • Name tags with participant's name already printed
    • On name tags, print a unique symbol which is a match to another single person. This will facilitate the ice-breaker / introduction game.
    • Also symbols can be of 3 categories: fruits, animals, and shapes - these can be used to divide the groups.


Create-a-thon hand-out should have the following:

  • Description of the Create-a-thon
  • Caren and Jon's contact information
  • schedule
  • Icebreaker questions with spots for answers
  • spot for notes


Start TimeEnd TimeDescriptionNotes
12:10pm12:15pmWelcome message
12:45pm1pmHands-on play (in groups)
1pm1:15pmPersonal design time (individually)
1:15pm1:45pmCollaborative video game design (in groups)
1:45pm2pmSnack Break
2pm2:30pmCollaborative design sharing / debrief
2:30pm2:45pmRe-visit and iterate on personal design

Session 1 - Welcome message (whole group)

Welcome message:

  1. welcome and thank everyone for attending
  2. give a quick description of what we're doing today
  3. Describe expectations (tk, no expectations, just remember this is about what you think)
  4. Describe the participant's role is in the workshop and to the project
  5. Describing what will be done with the outcomes (tk)
  6. outline the structure for the day
  7. Mention icebreaker questions in their handout and do introductions after lunch
  8. Lunch
  9. Ice breaker introductions

Other (is this needed?):

  1. Explanation of the create-a-thon (IDRC, UofCBoulder, remote participants/viewers if relevant. Fundamentals of Inclusive design

Session 2 - Hands-on Play (break-out groups)

Group Configuration: 2-3 participants and 1 facilitator per group


"Using the marble run tracks, take some time to play and build some tracks. This is an open play time with no particular goal in mind."


  • participants interact with Marble Run (MR). Understand the pieces, how they work together, what they do.
  • get the participants relaxed and having fun in groups.

Secondary goals:

  • help get the participant thinking creatively and familiar with the co-design process
  • participants start understanding the physics behind the toy.

Facilitator Notes:

  • No scaffolds to begin with. Support participants/groups organically.
  • MAYBE: at approximately the 7 minute mark ask participants if they can share what they've created with the facilitator

Session 3 - Personal Design Time (part 1)

Group Configuration: individually


If you were to make a video game version of the marble run for yourself (not anyone else), what would that be like? What kind of features would you want, and what will make it fun for you?


  • Give paper for answers, facilitator helps those who prefer to talk through,...

Session 4 - Collaboratively Design a Video Game

Group Configuration: same group composition as in Session 2.


"Now set aside your personal design - we will come back to this later.

In your groups, your task is now to create a video game version of the marble run experience together as a group. What features will it have? How would you control and play it? What makes it fun? You will have X minutes to work on a design. At the end, nominate a speaker who will present your ideas to the rest of the group."


  • participants design a video game version of the marble run based on their experience of the physical toy.
  • Active prototyping:
    • Draw a picture. (require paper, chart paper, chalk board, white board and various drawing implements: pens, pencils, colour pencils, pencil sharpener, chalk, markers)
    • Map it out in "2D" using the actual pieces from the toy.
    • Talk-aloud (facilitator to support note taking)
  • At the end, each group shares their designs so far.

Facilitator Notes:

  • Consider and deconstruct the sound. (Offer pathways of thinking without too many parameters. Too many parameters may stifle creativity and influence individual thinking.)

Session 5 - Personal Design Time (part 2)

Group Configuration: individually


"Now that you've had a chance to hear the different ideas from within your group and from the other group, let's go back to the personal design you started earlier. How would you now change your personal video game? What new features would you add? What features would you modify or remove? What has changed?"


  • Have participants preserve their initial design and add to it with annotations, notes, etc.
  • The idea is to have their thoughts prior to the collaborative exercise, and their thoughts afterwards
  • One way to accomplish this is perhaps put their original design in the middle of a large piece of paper and tape it down. Then they can draw / add around it.


Group Configuration: Everyone

"Does anyone want to share how their personal design has changed from the beginning and to the way it is now?"

  • Thank everyone again for coming
  • reiterate ways to keep in touch
  • mention what happens from here
    • We will take the work done here today and use it as inspiration for designing a PhET sim (should we show it?)
    • We might follow-up with some of the participants to ask further questions, and maybe even ask them to help do some testing or provide input.
  • give out thank-you cards