The Quickfire Challenge Workshop: How to fail fast & learn while having fun

ID: 51778 Type: Roundtable
  1. Leigh Wolf and Candace Marcotte, Michigan State University, United States
  2. Michael Kosko, Chicago Public Schools, United States

Wednesday, March 28 1:45 PM-2:45 PM Location: Edison Ballroom D View on map

No presider for this session.

Abstract: Inspired by reality TV cooking shows, the “Quickfire Challenge” is an educational tool created as an activity in the Master of Arts in Educational Technology program at Michigan State University (Wolf, 2009) Over the past 8 years the Quickfire Challenge has been a core of the student learning experience Having theoretical underpinnings in Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory (1991), the Quickfire Challenge is structured to create a (gently) disorienting experience which challenges traditional forms of professional development models Quickfire Challenges are carefully crafted to impose time constraints, give specific, yet vague directions, embed tangible outcomes, all the while keeping learning at the core By experiencing failure (and success) in this format, participants begin to rediscover the joy and creativity necessary to spark engagement in curriculum development and delivery In this workshop we will provide an embodied experience by having participants experience a Quickfire Challenge We will then provide theoretical context for creation of Quickfire Challenges, learning from practitioners who have successfully implemented the idea in K12 and teacher PD contexts Participants will then create and share Quickfire Challenges Participants will leave with a series of experiences which can be implemented in professional development (both online and offline) contexts


Provide participants with understanding of adult learning theory & opportunities for innovative teacher professional development (PD.) Build capacity for shared understanding of the Quickfire Challenge (a teacher PD experience.) Provide mentor texts for participants Enable participants to create their own Quickfire Challenges Create a sharing and support network beyond the workshop experience

Topical Outline

3.5 hour workshop 45 minutes: Experience a Quickfire (The 15-second video Quickfire Challenge) In this section participants will experience a Quickfire Challenge which exposes the participants to the basics of video production, storyboarding & educational technology theory. 15 minutes: Brief Introduction to Quickfire Theory & Practice We will provide direct instruction on the theoretical background of Quickfire Challenges. 30 minutes: Implementing Quickfires - stories of application & pro tips We will share our experiences using Quickfire Challenges in teacher PD and K12 classroom contexts, specifically, the use of Quickfires in Chicago Public Schools and the MSUrbanSTEM Fellowship Program. Teacher-leaders from the MSUrbanSTEM fellowship program will share their experiences as as participants in Quickfire Challenges and how they inspired the creation and use of this technique in their classrooms. We will be joined by Michael Kosko, STEM Initiatives Manager for Chicago Public Schools and an MSUrbanSTEM Sustainability Fellow. He will share stories from his experiences using Quickfire Challenges in the classroom along with sharing experiences from his peers. Some representative examples include: James Edstrom Yvonne Nevarez 60 minutes: Create a Quickfire Participants will be placed into groups and challenged with creating a Quickfire. There will be scaffolding to help participants through the process. 45 minutes: Share the Quickfires Participants will share their work, receive feedback from peers and learn ways to continue the discussion beyond the workshop. 15 minutes: break/extra time


The workshop is accessible for all experience levels. It would be helpful to bring a smartphone or tablet with video recording capability (but this is not required.)

Experience Level



Michael Kosko Michael Kosko is STEM Initiatives Manager for Chicago Public Schools. Prior to his current role he taught high school STEM and science in the district for 10 years. He’s a vocal advocate for technology integration and using design thinking in the classroom. Michael is a Google for Education Certified Innovator, an educator collaborator for Science Friday, and was the second runner-up in the 2016 Escalante-Gradillas Prize for Best in Education. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in urban education leadership at the University of Illinois - Chicago. Candace Marcotte Candace Marcotte is a program coordinator for the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program at Michigan State University and was an instructor for the MSU-WIPRO STEM & Leadership Teaching fellowship. Her work in K-12 education includes teaching 6th grade ELA and science and serving as a 1:1 Technology Facilitator at the middle school level. Candace has been teaching online for the MAET program since 2013, which was when her interest in creativity in adult learning ignited. Leigh Graves Wolf Leigh Graves Wolf is teacher-scholar and her work centers around online education, emerging technologies and relationships mediated by and with technology. She has worked across the educational spectrum from K12 to Higher to further and lifelong. She has been a disc jockey, network administrator, teacher, instructional technologist and now professor. She believes passionately in collaboration and community and is currently the Assistant Director of the MSU Hub for Innovation in Learning & Technology, an academic specialist in the Dean’s office in the MSU College of Education, a fixed-term Associate Professor of Educational Technology at Michigan State University and co-PI of the MSU Urban STEM Leadership & Teaching Fellowship program.


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