Learner Assessment and Discussion

A number of learners tested the multiple iterations of the project. In particular, six provided great insight and feedback on the final design and prototype.

Three questions were asked of learners, at the end of their Bike to Scale experience:

  • Did you learn anything new?
  • Did anything surprise you?
  • Would you be interested in learning more?

In response, their comments include:

  • “[I was surprised by] the energy consumption per machine.” “It wasn’t something that I had looked into before; I think you take those things for granted. The washing machine just works!”
  • “[I was surprised by] the conversion of energy from the bus to the toaster. When I think about it’s not really surprising; I just didn’t think about it before.”
  • “[I want to know] what to do about it now.” “I’m interested in learning more about the solutions — what we can do. I think nowadays, it’s much easier for people to follow something instead of think of solutions themselves.”
  • “The car might actually be electric…. and you can get energy for almost free for an electric car.”
  • “We should all help the environment and know what we’re doing before we actually proceed in doing it.”

The numerous insights and comments revealed both strengths and weaknesses. As the project aims to achieve literacy, not necessarily immediate behavior change, it doesn’t provide actionable items or solutions. Yet, often, those are exactly what people want! We must strike a fine balance between telling people what to do and allowing them to learn and discover their choices on their own.

Overall, the project allowed learners to engage in a simple, fun experience that connected their effort to the energy consumed by other devices. The information was presented in a way that taught and surprised the learners — even though it was information, many acknowledged, that they seemed to already know but really never thought about. A few were interested in learning more — and seeking out actions and solutions for themselves.