DTU & JSIC SOSI – Help with our Co-design Process


Whilst in Bristol at the first of the Jisc SOSI events, the Duct Tape Uni team took some time to think about how to evaluate the co-design process. Understanding the co-design process, its strengths and weaknesses and how it impacts on the development and the effectiveness of the tool is as important to the project as the tool itself.

Feedback from peers and mentors

Feedback from peers and mentors

During initial discussions with our mentor Peter Chatterton we agreed that the evaluation should be integral to the process and that we should therefore be evaluating and reflecting on the process from the beginning of the project.

    Peter Chatterton - Consultant, Academic and Duct Tape Uni mentor

Peter Chatterton – Consultant, Academic and Duct Tape Uni mentor


The cyclical process of ‘Plan, do, check, act’ encapsulates this idea and helps to keep the process simple.

Early visual sketch of Duct Tape Uni

Early visual sketch of Duct Tape Uni

We decided it would be useful to keep a project blog to map the critical moments and to record the overall process and that we could gather information, capture  exciting moments and document feedback from stakeholders through using audio, video and photography.

Sketching in Bristol

Sketching in Bristol

Although we were pretty clear on the ways we could gather information, we still weren’t sure about what kinds of questions we should be asking as part of the evaluation so Peter suggested that we speak to Sara Knight, one of the experts from Jisc.

Sara Knight - Program manager for e-learning at Jisc

Sara Knight – Program manager for e-learning at Jisc

Sara suggested that a simple and effective way of evaluating the process would be to ask three key questions:

1. Have the initial aims of the project been met?
2. Is there evidence that it will be used or that it is needed?
3. How did we experience the project process and how has it developed our skills?

So why is the co-design process as important as the final tool and who does it actually benefit?  We highlighted a 3 key points in support of co-design when  we pitched our idea to mentors, experts and students at Bristol SOSI: Firstly, the co-design process for Duct Tape Uni will facilitate professional development  and the sharing of best teaching/training practice as well as the sharing of resources and a space for reflection on teaching practice.

Feedback from peers and mentors

More feedback from peers and mentors

Secondly, it benefits staff and students by enabling them to share resources whilst also allowing students to evaluate and provide feedback on resources. Thirdly, learning and reflection from the co-design process could provide Universities  with a framework to engage with wider communities and to develop communities of practice  which bridge the gap between Universities and wider community settings.

We reflected that the process of co-design and its participatory, user-led focus within a tech context  is intrinsic to the way in which people and organisations aim to work in community contexts and that lots could be learned through encouraging dialogue and the sharing of skills between these two sectors.


There was a choice of hack-streams to attend at the Birmingham event.

The one on design seemed the most appropriate for our project, with its focus on creating design focus, user stories and techniques for sketching wireframes for products.

As part of the session, Mick recorded three interviews with the facilitators. These are available with a Creative Commons BY – SA licence.


Lindsay Jordan



Derek Jones



Richard Jones



London was the last event of the SOSI production process and had a focus on communicating your idea. Mahboobeh prepared a video outlining the Duct Tape University process show below.