Design Thinking Action Lab

Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, Stanford University

The Course

All humans are born as creative beings, but as we grow up, school and work offer few opportunities to cultivate and apply our creativity. At Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design - known as the d.school - students of all disciplines learn the design thinking process as a methodology for creative and human-centered problem solving that empowers them to collaborate across disciplines and tackle the world’s biggest challenges.

In this experiential course - free and open to all - you will learn the design thinking process by tackling a real world innovation challenge. As preparation for each stage of the challenge, you will explore the main design thinking concepts through short videos, each paired with brief activities to practice relevant methods and approaches. There will be one weekly assignment reporting on your progress, as well as weekly Google hangouts with the instructor. On the last week of the course, you will apply the process to your own context and challenges, while hearing from experts who use design thinking to innovate in differents fields, such as healthcare and education.

By the end of the course, you will have learned through experience the mindsets and basic tools for each stage of the design thinking process:

Empathize: understanding the needs of those you are designing for.

Define: framing problems as opportunities for creative solutions.

Ideate: generating a range of possible solutions.

Prototype: communicating the core elements of solutions to others.

Test: learning what works and doesn’t work to improve solutions.

While you will work on the course challenge as an individual, you will interact with other like-minded participants from around the world to share your experiences and exchange feedback along the way. Developing self-reflection habits and the ability for effective peer-to-peer interactions are also important learning outcomes of the course. Please join our learning community!

This online course was developed as part of Epicenter’s efforts to infuse entrepreneurship and innovation into undergraduate engineering education. Engineering students will be able to apply these design thinking tools and skills to enhance their technical education. Faculty will have the opportunity to join a dedicated discussion group on how to incorporate new online learning resources into their teaching practices. Learn more about Epicenter at http://epicenter.stanford.edu. Sign up for the Epicenter newsletter for updates on programs and opportunities for engineering students and faculty at http://eepurl.com/fHgLw.

Check out course highlights »

More Information

Workload. Expect to spend between 1 - 5 hours a week on the course.

Prerequisites. This is an introductory course and there are no prerequisites.

Technical Requirements. You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures, and the ability to upload your assignments, which will include text reports and images or video.

Statement of Accomplishment. Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. This statement will not stand in the place of a course taken at Stanford or an accredited institution.

The Instructor

Leticia Britos Cavagnaro

Deputy Director, National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation; Lecturer, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school)

Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, Ph.D., is a lecturer at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school), where she teaches university students of all disciplines how to build their creative confidence to become engines of innovation in their own lives, and as members of teams and organizations. Leticia is the Deputy Director of the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). She has a Ph.D. in Developmental Biology from Stanford University's School of Medicine, and is a former member of the Research in Education & Design Lab (REDlab) at Stanford’s School of Education. Having witnessed the journey of Stanford students who are transformed by their experience at the d.school, bringing design thinking to more people beyond Stanford has become a priority for Leticia, and she has worked with hundreds of teachers and students of all ages, as well as corporate and non-profit leaders, in the US and abroad.

Dates:
  • 22 July 2013
Course properties:
  • Free:
  • Paid:
  • Certificate:
  • MOOC:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Email-course:
  • Language: English Gb

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