Signifier Basics: what goes into designing Sensors

• Course Opens: June 1, 2020
• Begin anytime, finish within three months
• Venue: Online, self-paced with instructor feedback
• Instructor: Laurie Webster, QED Insight
• Course Fee: $399 USD


This course is intended for those new to the Platform who have never designed a Sensor. This course will give you an overview and context for sensemaking. You will learn about each type of signifier used in a Sensor, i.e., the Instrument designed to capture story experiences from your chosen constituency. Each module of the course includes an opportunity to test your understanding with personalized feedback. Upon completion, you will be able to discern what makes a good signifier, explain the instrument structure to your clients, and create your own Sensors.

At the conclusion of this self-paced online course, you will have covered:
• Why and When to use this sensemaking approach
• Instrument design
• An overview of Sensors along with their heuristics
• How to construct a story prompt
• Design of Ternaries, Sliders, Marbles, Multi-Choice Questions, and Demographics
• The creation of a Sensor


• You lead yourself in all aspects of pacing and use of the materials.
• There are assignments where you will get individualized feedback on what you post. In addition, you can learn from and collaborate with other participants.
• You have access to the course materials for a minimum of three months.
• Once you finish all modules and related assignments you will receive a Completion Certificate.

Who should take this course?

• Anyone on the Platform who wants a deeper understanding of and practice on how to create signifiers that become part of a Sensor (instrument).
• Anyone who wants to use this methodology regardless of the software platform used.


Since 2008, Laurie Webster has worked on narrative research projects in areas such as government, marketing, health care, and third-world development. This has included work both with QED’s own clients and as a contractor to Cognitive Edge. She has also served as a teacher, facilitator, and developer in the Cognitive Edge education program. This has included the two-day workshops on SenseMaker® Foundations, Practitioner Foundations, Analysis to Action with SenseMaker® and the online courses on Signification Design and Introduction to SenseMaker® Environment. Through QED Insight, she has developed additional online courses including Gathering Stories. Currently, she is a practitioner and a partner with, an Active Sensemaking platform.

Register here.