Throughout the second stage of our assessment, we focused on our previous feedback and experiences in order to work more cooperatively and effectively as a team. The feedback that influenced us most was the reminder to use research findings to “identify the answers to the guiding questions” and “inform [our] final messages/outcomes”. We discussed this concept and endeavored to change our approach to the task, ensuring we did not rush ahead until we made sure we had done all our research and confirmed that our outcomes were in accordance with our background information. In this way all of our work was grounded in research and linked to the issue as a whole.
In a more specific sense, having this feedback helped us to develop our PR idea further as with more extensive research we were able to identify the perfect organisation to represent (Play Unlimited) and explain why this client in particular was having difficulty in getting their message out.
It was also through research that we were able to narrow the focus of the journalism pitch, moving away from the vague and assumptive topic of ‘technology in the classroom’ and identifying a unique niche for Toca-Boca in special needs education, allowing us to develop a story idea far more unique in its angle.
Additionally, we took into account the time management aspect of the presentation, having gone three minutes overtime in the initial presentation, partly because of a lack of tightly organised cooperation in terms of who said what and for how long. As a team we practised repeatedly and focussed on giving constructive criticism so that each group member’s speech would be as concise and clear as possible. In this way we were able to reduce our speaking time by 4 minutes and still communicate our core ideas.
Essentially we took both our communication as a team and our research to another level, investigating the issue at its ‘root’ and including only the essential points in our final presentation.
In terms of “lightning bulb” ideas and realisations, it occurred to us during the workshop tutorial just how important the ‘marketing’ component of the topic was. It was not simply about gendered toys but how any product or digital medium was marketed in relation to diversity. This gave us an opportunity to approach the topic from a different and more manageable angle. At the beginning of the project a couple of us were having problems breaking down the topic and working out exactly what we were meant to do in each of the stories. Focussing on ‘marketing’ specifically allowed us to clarify our thoughts.
We also realised through team discussions that it was potentially unclear whether we were addressing the ‘problem’ of gender inequality itself, or the problem for our client, leading to some confusion. We also had been unclear on the actual format of the final presentation so Monday’s seminar was really helpful in clarifying what exactly was needed from us and how we could structure our research around that.
In general, we found a combination of team discussion, feedback, practice and clarification during lectures and workshops to be helpful and illuminating while developing our ideas for this assessment.