Design Thinking Applied in Higher Education: Exploring Participant Experiences

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor in Counseling, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Moorhead, United States.

2 Graduate Student in Counseling, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Moorhead, United States.

3 Associate Professor in Counseling, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, United States.


Higher Education is facing challenges that necessitate innovative problem-solving approaches. Design Thinking is an effective approach to address problems universities are facing. This exploratory study used a qualitative approach to survey individuals involved in the Design Thinking group and further explore their experiences participating in a Design Thinking project at a mid-sized university in the Midwest. For this study, the data was collected through open-ended questions, which were sent by email to participants with a link to a Qualtrics survey. The participants were chosen frommembers of campus community, who then formed a Design Thinking group. The findings criteria contain positive interaction, teamwork/collaboration, problem-solving, structure, facilitator and group size. Conclusions and future considerations that are discussed, comprise the importance of including student perspective, Design Thinking as a method for innovation to work towards solving problems in Higher Education as well as the importance of exploring participant experiences with Design Thinking.


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