Design Thinking - Education Edition (244132561)

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Albert Einstein said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Join Holly Morris, Director of Postsecondary Model Development and Adoption at EDUCAUSE, and Greg Warman, Principal at Experience Point, to learn more about Design Thinking, a structured approach pioneered by IDEO to creatively address large-scale challenges. We'll review current examples from higher education, engage you in ways you can bring design principles into your organization, and wake up the right side of your brain by giving you a chance to play with design thinkers' tools.
  Educause Holly Morris and Greg Warman_Design Thinking_Education Edition 1 Welcome, everybody. You are listening to EDUCAUSE Live! And this is Diana Oblinger, President and CEO of EDUCAUSE. Now as you probably know, EDUCAUSE Live webinars are supported by Dell, and if you’d like to learn more about Dell support for higher education, please go to Now you are probably very familiar with the interface for our webcast today, so I won’t tell you a lot about it other than to tell you this is a really important one for interaction because we’ve got lots of questions for you and we want to practice Design Thinking with you. So please be active in the Chat space over on the left-hand side. You can submit questions, you can share ideas, URLs, whatever you would like there. If you are tweeting, please use the hashtag edulive. And if you have any audio issues, there’s a box in the lower right-hand corner, and you can click that at any time or you can send a private message to Technical Help to get some support.  A common question is whether or not the session and the slides will be available. We will make those available later on today, and you’ll be able to find those in the EDUCAUSE Live website.  And now to tell you a little bit about the webinar today, I want to start with a quote from Einstein, who said, “We can’t solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” And if you can’t solve them with the same kind of thinking, then what we’d like to share with you is how you might use Design Thinking. Because Design Thinking is really a structured approach to address large-scale challenges. Today we’re going to review Design Thinking examples from higher education, some that were developed by your colleagues, and engage you in ways that you might try to use these design principles in your organization. And we’re going to give you a chance to play with some Design Thinkers’ tools. So we will learn about the principles and the process of Design Thinking, about application of Design Thinking in higher education and ways you can bring it into your organization, and we’ll experiment with Design Thinking. We’ve got two presenters that I think you will enjoy tremendously. Holly Morris first of all. Holly is our Director of Post-Secondary Model Development and Adoption for the next generation learning challenges. She is responsible for a couple of really exciting programs, the Break Through Models Incubator and the Break Through Model Academy. They are both designed to help higher education administrators and leadership teams try new approaches – really new approaches – to some of the biggest challenges that colleges and universities face. We also have Greg Warman, who is based in Silicon Valley, as you heard if you were online a little bit before. He’s the principal at Experience Point, which is a firm that designs and delivers training on Design Thinking to organizations of all kinds and sizes. He’s got a really interesting background where he both designs and delivers simulation experiences, and I’ve seen him in action with a large group of people, and he really does help people understand how to approach Design Thinking. So I’m going to turn it over to Holly to get us started on how to do Design Thinking. Thanks, Diana. And I’m going to pass the buck and turn it over to Greg. He actually is our first slide. Go ahead, Greg. Thanks so much. Well, welcome everyone. We’re really excited to be with you today. Holly and I are both thrilled to be talking about a topic that’s dear to our hearts, Design Thinking, and actually before we get started, we wanted to get a little bit of a read of you all and see what level of understanding you have already, or what exposure you have to Design Thinking. So if you could take a look at the poll that’s currently on your screen, and we look forward to your responses.  Awesome.  Educause Holly Morris and Greg Warman_Design Thinking_Education Edition 2 It’s so exciting to watch these polls. It is great to see that. The numbers build dynamically here. So it looks like we have a handful of full-on Design Thinking ninjas. But it appears the majority of us are kind of coming to this topic for the very first time, or maybe we’ve heard of it but we haven’t had an opportunity to practice it yet. So Holly and I will keep that in mind as we move forward here. Okay. So let’s look at the agenda for today. Okay. I think I’ve got one more slide, thanks. Greg. Thank you. So let’s have a look at the Agenda. We’re going to cover three things today. We’re going to define what Design Thinking actually is so that we’re all on the same page about that. We’ll give you some examples of higher institutions that have used Design Thinking successfully. And then we’ll talk a little bit about how you can take this into your work tomorrow and start reaping the benefits of approaching your thinking this way. Fantastic. So let’s cover off that first bullet point around what is Design Thinking. And there’s a few different ways that one could describe it. It’s a mindset. It’s a collection of principles that you can organize into a process. Many of you may already be aware that Design Thinking is an approach that was popularized by the Silicon Valley design firm IDEO, and many of you may be aware of David Kelley and a new book that he has out called Creative Confidence where he talks about Design Thinking as an approach to creativity. But at its most basic level, we can describe Design Thinking as a point of view on how to create new things. And let’s just take a moment to parse this statement. So by point of view, this is an approach, or a perspective on how one should approach challenges to ensure that what you create can ultimately have an impact. And when we talk about new things, we’re talking about more than just products or physical goods even though those are surely included in the definition, Design Thinking can also be applied to scenarios where you’re trying to create new services, new environments, even whole new systems in strategies. So Design Thinking is less about a specific type of output and more about a specific type of situation. So you would apply it in situations where you’re attempting something new. There might not be a platform of past experience that can guide you and point you in the direction of the right solutions. And, therefore, your assumptions around something are far greater than your knowledge. And you need an approach that’s going to help you learn your way into a solution.  A little bit more, a visual here to help us grok what design thinking is all about. The perspective here is that your innovation efforts should start with the user. And you should center all of your activities around getting to understand your user at a deep level. Now, there are other perspectives on innovation that involve starting with the feasibility lens, which is really about the technology factors, or the viability lens, which is really about business factors. But, as I said, design thinking really emphasizes that from the start of your attempt to create something new. You must address your intended user at that deep level. And then you learn your way into the feasible and viable solution. If you can hit the overlap of desirability (which is the human factors), feasibility (the technology factors), and viability (the business factors), then that’s the opportunity to really come up with a breakthrough solution.  And here you can see a little bit about the principles behind it and the actions that go with the principles. It starts with empathy. Up there in the left-hand corner, you’ll see the principle is in the larger box and the action that goes with it is right beside it in the colored box. We start with empathy, trying to, as Greg was saying, create from a place of human centeredness, really putting the user at the center of what we’re doing. Then we move on to designing and framing the problem in a way that will bring us to a solution that is responsive to our users. We move on to ideating. The principle behind ideation is really to embrace a  Educause Holly Morris and Greg Warman_Design Thinking_Education Edition 3 clash of ideas. It’s okay to have different wild, crazy ideas all laid out on the same site because that’s how you get better ideas. And we’ll talk more about that as we go along. From there we move on to prototyping where the principle behind that is more that it’s better to show something to a person than tell them about it. If you ever think about things that you encountered for the first time and really liked, it’s probably because you had an experience with it that made it enjoyable for you. It wasn’t because somebody sat there and read you the brochure. Prototyping is really about getting behind creating a showing experience.  And then testing, finally. The difference between creative and innovation people, I like to think, is action. If you want to be an innovator you’ve got to get out there and test your ideas. We’ll talk more about this process and the principles behind it as we go along. But there’s your overview. I’ll start by drilling down on the first one, empathy. I’d like for all of you to think about somebody with whom you have a strong connection or empathy. And think about that person and how much you know about them. You probably know things that they like or dislike. You know what makes them tired, you know what they love, you know what bugs them. Now, think about a person who you don’t have much empathy for – not necessarily a person that you dislike but somebody that you don’t have much of that empathetic connection for. And I bet if you compare them you would think to yourself, you would realize you don’t probably know much about the other person, the person you don’t have a strong connection to. You probably don’t know why they get tired, you don’t know what bugs them, you don’t know how they live their lives. And that’s because empathy comes from a place of knowledge and intimacy. We actually have to know the people in some way that’s deeper than average to have that feeling and connection that makes you able to solve a problem for them. Go ahead, Greg. I think this one’s yours. Traditionally when we talk about trying to empathize with our users, we really try and understand our users with tools like surveys, focus groups. And these methods are good but they have some challenges when it comes to truly empathizing with users. One of the challenges is that sometimes what people say they do and what they actually do can be different. And it’s not that people are deliberately trying to mislead; it’s just that they might mis-remember. For example, if you ask a student about her study habits in a focus group, she may tell you more about her intentions rather than her actual behaviors.  Another challenge with these tools is sometimes we don’t know what questions we should have, what we should really be asking, until we observe people in situ. For example, if we observe how a student might study during his subway commute, we’ll instantly realize we should be asking questions very specifically around some of the difficulties of that environment – the noise, the crowded space, how one actually might be able to take notes while standing on an unstable floor. These are some of the challenges of the traditional tools. If we really want to get deeper with folks, where we can truly empathize with our user and get to that level that Holly was discussing, we need to go ahead and observe people in context. And then we can ask folks questions in context. Have them walk us through the rationale behind certain actions or behind certain statements. From that we begin to triangulate on some of the thoughts and feelings that are really motivating. And once you get to that level of motivation, then you’re at the point of truly having the empathy necessary to be able to help design a solution for this individual, one that will have impact. I’m going to drill down a little bit, and give you a first example from higher education about an institution that really applied this principle well. Austin Community College is one of the breakthrough model incubator teams for 2014. And we asked all our teams to begin their experience with the incubator this year by interviewing their students, prospective students or current students, before they came to the convening where they were going to do some work together. And all the teams did this. But Austin Community College I wanted to tell you about in particular because they did such a great job.  Educause Holly Morris and Greg Warman_Design Thinking_Education Edition 4  All eight members of their team, including their president, interviewed at least one and, in some cases, several prospective and current students. Most of those interviews were about an hour or 90 minutes, and they really came away with two interesting insights about their students and why they were choosing or thinking of choosing Austin Community College. As a result of the interviews, ACC learned two things. One, they realized how disconnecting their language was from their students. They were using a lot of  jargon as they talked to their students, and they realized that they weren’t connecting with them at all, that they were misunderstanding things about what Austin Community College could offer because they just weren’t talking their language.  And the second thing that they walked away understanding is that their four-year university students that are close to UT Austin, some of those students would come home in the summer and take classes at the community college to keep their work going while they were home. And they realized that these students who were at a prestigious four-year college really loved Austin Community College because the instructors cared about them, and they cared if they showed up to class. This has actually influenced how Austin is going to be approaching their marketing and approaching their course design as they work through their breakthrough model incubator plan. So I want to give big kudos out to ACC because they could have just ignored this insight that they got from empathizing with their students, but they really decided to step back and take a second look at their incubator plan. And they’re leaving that in and going to make that part of what they do throughout the planning process of the incubator plan, and in other aspects at the college.  A question for our audience here, and we’re hoping that folks will be able to enter some thoughts into the chat section. But imagine you’re in an ongoing conversation, one that is currently taking place at your institution. How do you think the discussion might shift if you chose to center it around the needs of the students? What we’d love for you to do is type your thoughts in the chat space so that we can get lots of ideas going. And we’ll just pause for a minute while you all type some things in. I see here there’s a question from one of our participants – “What types of questions did Austin Community College ask their students?” They were asking questions about why they were choosing  ACC or thinking about choosing ACC. They were learning more about what types of constraints their students were operating under. Because Austin Community College is planning to put together a competency-based education program that is probably going to attract more adult students, they wanted to know about their prior life experiences and what types of things they were looking for from their college-going experience. Those were the types of questions Austin was focusing on, and the other incubator communities, as well. I see some really interesting comments coming through in the chat space One about motivating students to take part in their learning. I think that is a key part to the empathy conversation, is that it does give you an opportunity to make it a two-way street to really engage students in a way that’s different and does motivate them to step forward and be more active participants. Following up on that comment from Virginia Pitts, yes, it does take away the “us versus them,” and makes it definitely more about us and them as a co-creating process. It’s hard to keep up with your chat box action. Wow! This is great. Focusing on what students want to do after they leave your institution is a great place to look when you’re trying to gain empathy with what they’re after, and what kinds of solutions you can be designing for them.
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