The next step is to find what information is already out there. No matter what the topic is, there’s a lot of it. Learning about what people have discovered or tried before focuses your options. Sometimes it is useful to look into academia – has there been any relevant research?

This step is important because you don’t know everything. People are experimenting and adding to the world’s store of knowledge every second. The world changes, and changes again, in the time it takes to make a coffee. No matter how knowledgeable or experienced you are, there is always more to learn.

Other people’s successes can tell you a lot. Failure tells you even more. Be sure to keep in mind that the best source of information might be the person that didn’t succeed.

This step comes after defining the problem. Once the problem has been clarified, you can use it to guide your research. A well-defined problem has specific challenges in it – discover how to overcome those, and the problem is solved.

What are some sources of information? Take a few minutes to write down as many as you can think of. After posting your answer in the comments, proceed to the next page.

< PreviousNext >

Module 1: Introduction
Module 2: Defining the problem
Module 3: Researching the data
Module 4: Imagining possibilities
Module 5: Designing the solution
Module 6: Experimenting
Module 7: Case study: This Course
Module 8: Where to from here?

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