Demotech, design for self reliance

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The process of learning the steps indicated in a manual works better when reading and looking on is done with a crowd of like minded people.

Please visit also our wiki research pages. (D14)

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Manual on a string
<< Back to category Means to get informed

Ready for testing in practice Fivefold reduction of cost Applicable in modern as well as in poor economies Education Research Urban

Learning to do a job with the help of a manual is difficult. What the user reads and understands may differ from what the writer intended to get across. The writer intends to offer just one way to do it. But the user finds in a manual a puzzle that offers too many different options. He needs to sort this out before he can take the next step in the manual.
When a group should work with a printed manual, this manuals may not be available to all group members at the same time. Some will be less informed then others.
The problem to solve is to give this group a shared understanding in a short time.

The manual is printed with large fonds and clear illustrations on A4-sheets. Each A4 has a top part that can be folded over along a dotted line. These A4 sheets can be hooked onto a tensioned string next to each other. Then fixated with staples or scotch tape
When presented to a small interested group, the process of collective understanding will differ from individual learning. This is because amids non and wrong understaning there are others that pick up the right understanding of the info at each page. In the buzz of group communication this helps everyone to come quickly to the right interpretation of the manual.

Additional information

Test how it works to print a manual with this example

Find the special "Print this manual" button in the top left column, under the line All Designs. Clicking this button takes you to the printable version, that you can check first if it will print out properly.
Mind that the text at each A4-page should not be too long for the space available. In this manual for 'Harvesting Wire' from worn car tires, you will find that some of the writings is still too long and over flows to an extra page. This should be corrected. In practice it is difficult to find the right balance between text and images. But that is the teacher's job!

Internal links

External Links
Randall Collins: Interaction Ritual Chains
- Page 48 - Google Books Result Randall Collins - 2014 - �Social Science
This paper may matter to understand how the mechanism of watching the 'Manual on a String' works to achieve a common understanding of the make-instruction. Common understanding is key, togetherness in the process of understanding from little to full, is the big idea behind this approach. Only then can onlookers become the onlooker-group that is empowered to decide if the offered instruction matters to them so it is worth while to take action.

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