The Design Thinking Studio: Use Cases and Practical Methods

Concurrent Session 8

Brief Abstract

Weaving together solutions-based problem solving, visual communication, and backwards design, design thinking has the power to give structure to the creative process without dulling the spark of innovation.  As the term design thinking continues to spread, this session seeks to highlight practical applications within instructional, graphic, and LX design.  

Extended Abstract

Weaving together such elements as solutions-based problem solving, the language of visual communication, and backwards design, design thinking has the power to give structure and method to the creative process without dulling the spark of innovation.  As the term design thinking continues to gain ubiquity within higher education, this session seeks to shine a light on its practical application within the realm instructional, graphic, and learning experience design.  Practictioners of design thinking from The University of Arizona (UA) and Michigan State University (MSU) will share examples of its usage both within and across departments, serving key stakeholders within their respective institutions:

  1. In the interdisciplinary cross-collaborations supporting innovations in teaching at learning at the MSU Hub
  2. In the utilization of emerging technology to support the development of online course content focused on the design thinking process at the UA
  3. In the creation of flexible and malleable learning objects designed to support discipline-specific applications of experiential learning in the online classroom at the UA

Additionally, the presenters will also share findings from their work creating the Innovation Lab, an exploratory installation focused on the design thinking process built for the 2016 Online Learning Consortium Innovate Conference.  From the pedagogical approach to designing the physical space and points of interaction, to the establishment of a cohesive look and feel for the graphical elements, design thinking was used as both the salient content for the Innovation Lab and the method used to create the space itself.

Through casual, personalized conversations with participants in this discovery session, the presenters seek to highlight effective strategies for completing the following:

  • Understanding the benefit and opportunities afforded by the design thinking process
  • Effectively applying design thinking methods in the planning and implementation of online course design
  • Unpacking larger questions on ways in which the design thinking process can be used to iterate and refine current innovations in the field

The presenters will share materials created specifically for the OLC Innovation Lab, including a custom “lab manual” used to guide learners through a design thinking process.  Participants will leave with concrete ideas on how design thinking might be applied in their own work to foster student-centered design, with both granularity and to scale at the institutional level.