This page is for a previous offering of this course. The current version is found here »

Welcome! If you’re one of my students then go to the top right side of this page and sign in using the Google Account (associated with a gmail address) that you plan to use throughout this course.

By Alex Bruton, Ph.D.

Our full activity schedule

This is our teaching and learning Activity Schedule for the semester. Think of it as the definitive reference for what we’ll be doing / did every day. Collapse / or expand each date range for details. Check it daily to stay current.

And if you need to connect with me or your classmates, here’s the link to our Slack group » (You’ll get set up on this in the assignment I give you for our first week together.)

Jan 8-14: Welcome + getting our feet under us

Welcome! This is our first week together. We’ll be getting to know each other a little, and you’ll learn what the course is all about. There’s nothing formally due for marks yet but don’t miss it – we’ll be covering some pretty important stuff, you’ll have a few “mini badges” to complete to get your feet under you, and we will begin the learning.

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon hour 1Welcome and introduction (to each other and to the course)-
Mon hours 2-3You’ll Challenge the Minefield and before wrapping up for the day, I will explain what you need to do this week and before we meet again next Monday.-
Fri Jan 12Sign in to this web page before the deadline today (top right side of the page) and fill in the form at the top. This will let me know what gmail account you’ll be using so that I can upgrade your account and set some stuff up for you.Due by 5 pm today
Sun Jan 14Complete the following mini-badges before Sunday at midnight:
  • Mini Badge 1: Getting set up on Google Drive
  • Mini Badge 2: Getting set up on Slack
These will go live on Saturday at 10 am for those who met the Friday deadline. They’ll be linked from here:
Both are due by midnight tonight

Jan 15-21: Basic training and key concepts

Welcome back! It’s our second week together and we have two goals: 1) To get to know each other better; and 2) To do some basic training and learn some key concepts you’ll require to do well at the Venture Design Studio. Buckle up – things are going to start moving!

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon hour 1In the first hour today we will:
  • Begin by reviewing the course outline content again in case you have any questions or need clarification
  • Do a few activities, including Who’s in the room?which is part ice breaker, part creativity warm-up, and part introduction to ideation
There’s nothing due coming into this class but you should purchase your Idea Design Kit before today. See D2L for details.
Mon hours 2-3Then we will:
  • Play the Idea Maker Game - a high-paced design thinking based ideation game - which I challenge you to try and win, but which is really a fun way to give you the basic training you’ll need on how to use the tools in your Idea Design Kit as part of the upcoming Venture Design Studio project
I will also give you Mini Badge 3: Your first ideastorming assignment.
Sun Jan 21In class I handed out an ideastorming assignment where you needed to come up with 25 ideas before our next class. Complete this mini badge by Sunday at midnight:
  • Mini Badge 3: Confirming You Did the Ideastorming Mission
This and some background on ideastorming are accessed here:
Earn Mini Badge 3 by midnight tonight. Be sure to also bring your full assignment with you to our next class.

Jan 22-28: Setting the Stage for The Venture Design Studio (VDS)

This week we’re going to do some stage-setting for the Venture Design Studio. We’ll do this by going through some more of the basics and by helping you get to know each other a little better – since you’ll be forming teams for this project before too long.

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon hour 1
  • We’ll start today by doing Quiz 1
  • Next we’re going to build on the introductory work we began last time with our warm up exercises, through which we introduced the basic notion of ideation
  • Then we’ll do some activities, including the $40 Challenge
Quiz 1, as announced in class last week. You can review what we learned about using the Idea Design Kit here » You should also bring your ideastorming assignment with you to class.
Mon hours 2-3
  • In the second portion of our time together, we’ll use the individual ideastorming assignment you did over the last week to seed some group ideation work - I want you to go through and evaluate the basics of this kind of work before we dive into the Venture Design Studio. I also want you to use the time to get to know each other better.
Homework
  1. Do the second ideastorming assignment. I’ll send this to you via D2L.
  2. Complete the Picking a Darn Good Team form before next class. This will have been handed out in class.
There’s nothing to hand in before next week (no new Mini Badges). Just be sure to bring your homework back with you to class next time.

Jan 29 - Feb 4: Level 1 of the VDS

This week’s goals are: 1) to launch the Venture Design Studio and; 2) to prepare you to challenge Level 1 next Monday.

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon hour 1
  • We’ll start today with Quiz 2, and I will return and discuss Quiz 1
  • Then we’ll do an activity called the $40 Challenge
  • And I will introduce the Venture Design Studio (VDS) to you in some detail, answering questions about the goals of the project, what to expect, and how you will be assessed
Quiz 2, as announced in class last week + bring your second ideastorming assignment and your Picking a Darn Good Team form to class
Mon hours 2-3
  • I’ll facilitate, but you’ll get to use the second half of this period to form teams and start working on Level 1 of the VDS
  • We’ll also discuss what’s due and expected in this first iteration
HomeworkBy Tuesday at noon:
  1. Do the setup and welcome topic for the Idea Maker Course, so everything can be set up for you (see D2L for details)
  2. Let me know your team name and members, and email me your completed Unanimous Team Members’ Agreement (I’ll use this to set up a team folder for you on Google Drive, and get a team Idea Page issued to you)
Before the start of next class submit the following to your team folder on Google Drive:
  1. One Idea Napkin » for your team’s best idea, using the Google Drive template
  2. The link to an Idea Page for the same idea - do this by completing Day 1 and Day 2 of the Idea Maker Course » using one of your team member’s Idea Pages, and then adding the URL for your Idea Page to your Idea Napkin so I can find it
  3. A photo or sketch of a pretotype of your offering
At the start of next class be prepared to:
  • Deliver your 90 second pitch for assessment and feedback from a panel of guests
  • Show your pretotype as part of your pitch

Feb 5-11: Level 2 of the VDS

The task this week is to try and beat Level 1 of the VDS (‘level up’ to Level 2). After that I’ll set the stage for Level 2 so you can take it on over the next week.

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon Feb 5 hour 1In the first hour of this evening, we will have a guest panel and you’ll do your pitches for Level 1 of the Venture Design Studio.See the homework assigned last week for today
Mon Feb 5 hours 2-3In the second hour, I’ll introduce Level 2 and the material that will be covered next week on Quiz 3.TBA
Individual homeworkI moved this to the end of Level 2 - see D2L for details.
Team homeworkBefore the start of next class submit the following to your team folder on Google Drive:
  1. One updated Idea Napkin » for your team’s best idea - by updating the same Google Drive document as last time
  2. One or more Value Proposition Wheel(s) » for the context of your team’s updated idea - you should use the Google Drive template for this, and it will be covered in class and in Day 3 of the Idea Maker Course »
  3. The link to the updated Idea Page » for the idea - do this by completing Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 of the Idea Maker Course » using one the same Idea Page as last week (and being sure the URL for your Idea Page is your Idea Napkin so we can all find it)
  4. A photo or sketch of the pretotype of your offering
At the start of next class be prepared to:
  • Deliver a 120 second version of your pitch for assessment and feedback from a panel of guests
  • Show your pretotype as part of your pitch

Feb 12-18: Level 3 of the VDS

The task this week is to try and beat Level 2 of the VDS (‘level up’ to Level 3). After that I’ll set the stage for Level 3 so you can take it on over the next week.

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon Feb 12 hour 1In the first hour of this evening, we will have a guest judge and you’ll do your pitches for Level 2 of the Venture Design Studio.See the homework assigned last week for today
Mon Feb 12 hours 2-3In the second hour, I’ll introduce Level 3 and the material that will be covered next week on Quiz 4.
Individual homeworkBefore Thursday Feb 15 at 5 pm:
  • I will provide a link to the look-back learning reflection due for Levels 1 and 2
Team homeworkBefore the start of next class submit the following to your team folder on Google Drive:
  1. One updated Idea Napkin » for your team’s best idea - by updating the same Google Drive document as last time
  2. One or more updated Value Proposition Wheel(s) » for the context of your team’s updated idea - you should use the Google Drive template for this, and it will be covered in class and in Day 3 of the Idea Maker Course »
  3. One Customer and Market Worksheet »
  4. At least five Break It and Better It » forms
  5. The link to the updated Idea Page » for the idea - do this by completing Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4 of the Idea Maker Course » using one the same Idea Page as last week (and being sure the URL for your Idea Page is your Idea Napkin so we can all find it)
  6. A photo or sketch of the pretotype of your offering
At the start of next class be prepared to:
  • Deliver a 150 second version of your pitch for assessment and feedback - we won’t have guests this time but we will be doing a pitch workshop for which this preparation is important
  • Show your pretotype as part of your pitch

Feb 19-25: Mid-term break + Un-exam

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon Feb 19No class due to mid-term break week. Use the time to work on Level 3 of the VDS. I will also send you information about your un-exam (the cardboard challenge) so you can start on that.
HomeworkSee the homework assigned last week.

Feb 26-Mar 4: Level 4 of the VDS

Your Level 3 models and prototypes are due this week, but we’re going to take a break from the regular pitching cycle to do a pitch workshop – to look at how we might better go about telling the story of your venture. That said, I will set the stage for Level 4 so you can prepare to tackle it and Level 3 together next time.

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon Feb 26Tonight we will have a quick quiz on the topics we saw last time:
  • Ensuring you’re creating value: Testing your opportunity using the value proposition
  • Everyone is not your customer: Getting from target personas to target markets
There will be no formal pitch so we’ll use some of the time to check in with each other on the Venture Design Studio project, e.g.:
  • How’s it going? What’s required when? My expectations? Your questions? Anything you need to know
I’ll also:
  • Take you through a pitch workshop - so have your pitch ready to go
  • Launch Level 4 of the VDS and provide a framework for thinking about the project at this stage
  • Discuss my ideas about the Cardboard Challenge - your final project - to get your feedback before I assign it
Quiz 4 will take place at the start of class today. Your Level 3 models are due before class today as usual but there will be no formal pitch until Mar 5 , which will be for Levels 3 and 4 together.
Individual homeworkBefore Thursday Feb 15 at 5 pm:
  • Complete the look-back learning reflection for Level 3 (link to be sent to the email you used for it last time)
Team homeworkBefore the start of next class submit the following to your team folder on Google Drive (for deliverables marked with a *, use the same Google Docs file as in previous weeks so we can track the changes):
  1. One updated Idea Napkin » for your team’s best idea *
  2. One or more updated Value Proposition Wheel(s) » for the context of your team’s idea *
  3. One updated  Customer and Market Worksheet » *
  4. At least five more Break It and Better It » forms (meaning you should now have a total of ten)
  5. The link to the updated Idea Page » for your idea - use the same Idea Page as in previous weeks and make sure the URL for your Idea Page is your Idea Napkin so we can all find it
  6. A photo or sketch of the pretotype of your offering (with a note to how this is different from the earlier pretendotype)
At the start of next class be prepared to:
  • Deliver a 150 second version of your pitch for assessment and feedback - we will have guests again this time
  • Show your pretotype as part of your pitch

Mar 5-11: Level 5 of the VDS

The task this week is to try and beat Levels 3 and 4 of the VDS (‘level up’ to Level 5). After that I’ll set the stage for Level 5 so you can take it on over the next week.

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon Mar 5Venture Design Studio Level 3/4 pitches takes place tonight. We’ll do Quiz 4, and we’ll launch Level 5.Level 4 pitches + Quiz 4
Individual homeworkBefore Thursday Mar 8 at 5 pm:
  • Complete the look-back learning reflection for Level 4 (link to be sent to the email you used for it last time)
Team homeworkAt the start of next class be prepared to:
  • Deliver a 180 second (3 minute) version of your pitch for assessment and feedback - we will have guests again this time and this is the pitch that counts toward your final grade
  • Show your pretotype as part of your pitch
  • Include an "ask" to get you to the key milestones - I will discuss this in class
Before Wednesday March 14 at 5 pm submit the following to your team folder on Google Drive (for deliverables marked with a *, use the same Google Docs file as in previous weeks so we can track the changes). These are the models that count toward your final grade:
  1. One updated Idea Napkin » for your team’s best idea *
  2. One or more updated Value Proposition Wheel(s) » for the context of your team’s idea *
  3. One updated  Customer and Market Worksheet » *
  4. At least five more Break It and Better It » forms (meaning you should now have a total of fifteen)
  5. The link to the updated Idea Page » for your idea - use the same Idea Page as in previous weeks and make sure the URL for your Idea Page is your Idea Napkin so we can all find it
  6. A photo or sketch of the pretotype of your offering (with a note to how this is different from the earlier pretendotype)

Mar 12-18: VDS final pitch and Finale

The task this week is to try and beat the last level of the VDS – in doing so, you’ll be attempting to demonstrate mastery of all five levels! And that’ll be followed by our Finale in which our top two teams will compete against the finalists from my other class!

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon Mar 12Level 5 VDS pitches take place tonight. This is the one that counts toward your final grade. There will be no quiz this week. Rather, we’ll spend the second part of the class working on the ventures that are chosen to advance to Thursday’s finale.For details, see the homework section at the end of last week
Wed Mar 14Your final Level 5 models and evidence are due at 5 pm These are the ones that count toward your final grade.For details, see the homework section at the end of last week
Thu Mar 15, 5 pmThe Venture Design Studio Finale takes place tonight at 5:00 pm - the top ventures from our class will be competing against those from my other class. This is a required event and takes place outside of regular class time.Takes place in the Hunter Hub Collision Space beside the bookstore in Mac Hall
Individual homeworkBefore Sunday Mar 18:
  • Complete the look-back learning reflection for Level 5 (link to be sent to the email address you used for this last time)

Team homework

(Optional but strongly encouraged:) Before Monday March 19 at 5 pm:

  • By this time, you are welcome to submit your own assessment / grade for the venture design studio models that you submitted on March 14. I will send the link for doing this via D2L. You will get the grade you give yourself on this as long as you justify it.

Mar 19-25: Inspired You project

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon Mar 19Tonight:
  1. We will start with some closing comments on the Venture Design Studio (the final deliverables for which are due today)
  2. I will return your quizzes (all of those marks are posted to D2L)
  3. I’ll hand out the final individual project (which is in your course outline as The Cardboard Challenge) which you have until April 14 to complete
  4. We’ll begin the Inspired You project, which will take place in class over the coming weeks.
Final deliverables for the VDS are due today - see the homework section last week.
HomeworkBefore the start of next class:
  1. Read / re-read the following:
    • The “Discover WHO” stories handout
    • The Adler article about “Your Story and The Most Important Fiction
    • The “Writing a Personal Narrative Story” guidance document
  2. Write one of the three “Discover WHO” stories described in the handout
  3. Submit it to your individual folder on Google Drive
  4. Be ready to share it with / tell it to the class next time
  5. Watch “The Most Essential Fiction” introduction video (this will be linked from the course page and D2L)

Mar 26 - Apr 1: Inspired You project

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon Mar 26Tonight we will honor the work done on Part 1 of the project by sharing those stories. I will hand out and discuss Parts 2 and 4 of the project. And I will return your assessments for the Venture Design Studio.Be sure to bring your story from last time. And see the list of what else is due / required that I posted on D2L and above under last our last class.

Apr 2-8: Inspired You project

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon Apr 2Tonight we will honor the work done on Part 2 of the project by sharing those stories. We will pick our "best in show". I will also hand out and discuss Part 3 of the project.Be sure to bring your story from last time. And see the list of what else is due / required that I posted on D2L and above under last our last class.

Apr 9-15: Inspired You project, our last class, and end of term

Date / timeActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon Apr 9I will announce our final activities related to the Inspired You project. This is also our last class together, so we will wrap up the course and discuss remaining due dates.TBA
Sat Apr 14Your un-exam (Cardboard Challenge project) is due todayTBA

At a glance

The table below summarizes the key dates. The Activity Schedule should be consulted for full details. All dates are subject to change and I will discuss with you /  make you aware of any required changes.

DateActivity
Jan 8First day of class!
Jan 12Sign in to this web page and fill in the form at the top before 5 pm
Jan 14Mini Badges 1 and 2 due by midnight tonight
Jan 15You should purchase your Idea Design Kit before tonight’s class
Jan 21Mini Badge 3 is due by midnight tonight (your first ideastorming assignment)
Jan 22Quiz 1 will take place at the start of class today + bring your ideastorming assignment
Jan 29Quiz 2 will take place at the start of class today + bring your second ideastorming assignment and your Picking a Darn Good Team form
Feb 5Venture Design Studio (VDS) Level 1 pitch + Level 1 models due
Feb 12
  1. VDS Level 2 pitch + Level 2 models due
  2. Quiz 3 in class
Feb 15individual look-back learning reflection due for Levels 1 and 2
Feb 26Quiz 4 in class + VDS Level 3 models due (no pitch)
Mar 5VDS Level 3/4 pitch + Level 4 models due + Quiz 5 in class
Mar 12VDS Level 5 pitch
Mar 14Level 5 models due
Mar 15VDS Finale - This takes place outside of class time at 5 pm this Thursday evening
Mar 19 - Apr 9Inspired You deliverables due - details TBA
Apr 14Un-exam (Cardboard Challenge project) due today

Coming soon.