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LIS 861: Information Architecture

Assignment 6: Failure assessment; due May 16


Fail interestingly. Learn from it.

In life and in technology, we rarely do anything perfectly, and that's okay. Getting outside our comfort zones — going to places where we don't already know the map — is what lets us develop new skills and become more awesome. Failing isn't a problem. Not learning from failing is the problem.

Keep track of what goes wrong over the course of the semester: a new tool you can’t get your head around, a piece of software you didn’t use right, a blind alley on your final project, a stance you took during class discussion (or believed beforehand) that you now know is wrong.

Turn in a single-page reflection that characterizes your most interesting failure; reflects on what you learned; and outlines a strategy for doing better in future. This strategy may be specific (what could you do to better solve this kind of problem) or general (how can you demonstrate better persistence, creativity, communication, resilience, or whatever else was needed).

This assignment was inspired by this Inside Higher Ed essay. Giant robot dinosaur Fake Grimlock also has lots of helpful things to say about failure, iteration, and winning.

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