Tackling Education’s Wicked Problems

In its Communiqué from the 2013 Horizon Project Summit, the New Media Consortium (NMC) outlined five challenges in education “that are extremely difficult and even seemingly impossible to solve because of the complex or ever-changing environments in which they arise” (NMC, 2013). These challenges were classified as “wicked problems.”

As coursework for Applying Educational Technology to Issues of Practice in Michigan State University’s MAET Program, I was asked to outline the intricacies of one of these wicked problems.

The Problem: “Allow failure to be as powerful a learning mode as success” (NMC, 2013).


For the next step, I teamed up with three of my fellow MAET cohorts in order to share different perspectives and better understand the barriers which might prevent failure from being adopted as a learning mode in schools. Through discussion and sharing independent research via online forums, we zeroed in on two possible solutions leveraging digital technologies that could play a major role in solving this wicked problem.

The Proposed Solutions: Standards-Based Grading and Digital Game-Based Learning

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