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Academic Technology Design Team - Design Thinking Experiences

Design Thinking Experiences

Design thinking is a creative approach to solving complex problems by understanding people’s needs and forming insights to meet those needs. The ATDT facilitates and hosts design thinking experiences as part of our user experience inquiries. This process leverages the collective brainpower of the ATDT members and other campus individuals to generate concrete ideas for addressing wicked teaching and learning problems.

Previous design thinking experiences:

Metacognition and Writing in the Large Lecture

Challenge: How might we leverage writing to foster opportunities for metacognition, without adding to a course’s grading burden?

Approach: Professor Beth Dusinberre has been teaching CLAS 1509: Trash and Treasure, Temples and Tombs for about 20 years on campus. The course is a large lecture that relies heavily on writing assignments to develop students’ metacognitive and critical thinking skills and an army of TAs to handle the grading load. Professor Dusinberre wanted to explore opportunities to increase student metacognition without adding to the heavy TA workload. Read more

WWOD: Fostering student engagement and self-reflection

Challenge: How might we take inspiration from reflections on Norse Mythology, Sagas, and Vikings, and apply it to college life?

Approach: Dr. Jackson Crawford teaches a large introductory course on medieval Scandinavian literature and culture and has long been contemplating ways in which he could draw upon the wisdom of Odin, Norse Chief God, to increase student engagement and foster self-reflection. He shared this concept with the ATDT as inspiration to explore innovative ways to accomplish this goal. Read more

Fine-Tuning the ePortfolio Assignment with Journey Mapping

Challenge: How might we identify and mitigate pain points in the student experience with a complex ePortfolio assignment?

Approach: Pathway to Space (ASEN 1969) features a multifaceted ePortfolio assignment spanning the entire semester. Concerned about students being overwhelmed by the first iteration of the assignment, Pathway creators approached ATDT about how to problem-solve the experience. Read more

Improving Student Engagement Outside of Class

Challenge: How might we enhance outside-of-the-classroom activities to improve student engagement and preparation for class?

Approach: In the Summer of 2016, Sam Flaxman contacted the ATDT to help increase student success and retention rates while removing the divide between successful and struggling students enrolled in EBIO 1210: General Biology. Read more

Student Success at Colorado Law

Challenge: How might we increase students’ legal analysis skills in creative and engaging ways that scale?

Approach: The ATDT invited Colorado Law School’s Academic Support and Bar Exam Committee and Senior IT Director to participate in a design challenge to address challenges facing students entering law school who may benefit from opportunities to develop critical thinking and analytical skills. Read more

Capturing Student Attendance

Challenge: How might we elegantly, efficiently, and accurately capture student attendance at Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) events?

Approach: In an effort to find a way to efficiently and accurately document students’ attendance at on-campus training events, the ATDT coordinated an effort that brought together OIEC and other campus units, contributing to a rich design thinking experience to generate ideas and inform a solution. Read more

Promoting a Culture of Collaboration

Challenge: How might we promote a culture of collaboration with the community, within the CE division, and with main campus?

Approach: The ATDT facilitated a design thinking workshop at the Continuing Education all staff. This activity was evidence-based and leveraged data collected ahead of the workshop to ideate on the challenge of collaboration. Read more

CU Museum of Natural History Exhibit

Challenge: How might we create exciting and accessible visitor experiences that bring these science stories to life?

Approach: For this design challenge, our task was to brainstorm and prototype a visitor experience for three specific stories of symbiosis that will be featured in a 2017 exhibit at the CU Museum of Natural History. The Museum invited a number of staff and external stakeholders to participate in the design challenge. Read more

Opportunities for Business Competency

Challenge: How might we create opportunities for more people on campus to gain core business competencies?

Approach: OPI approached the ATDT with the following challenge: people on campus would benefit from gaining core business competencies. However, designing for individuals who work full time might be challenging. How could we do this in a way that’s fun, exciting, compelling, interactive and yet effective and concise? Read more

Managing Work

Challenge: How might we better manage our work?

Approach: The ATDT and ATAP team brainstormed solutions around and organized into themes: fulfillments, time tracking and opportunities to reflect, choice, collaborations, vendors, focus on teaching and learning, prioritization, additional personnel, incentives and work distribution. Read more

Self Paced Learning

Challenge: How might we design a high-quality self-paced learning experience?

Approach: The ATDT and customer brainstormed solutions around the initial design challenge. Several ideas were generated and clustered into meaningful themes: multimodal content, groups, video quizzing, assignment types and real world learning, student/instructor interaction, modified course delivery, differentiating, support, student-generated content, peer learning, student feedback and mindful course evaluation, and course models. Read more

Classroom Observation Service

Challenge: How might we design a classroom observation service that would attract and be meaningful for diverse A&S faculty?

Approach: The ATDT brainstormed solutions around the initial design challenge. Several ideas were generated then clustered into meaningful themes: link service to improving learning, faculty/cross-disciplinary network, student involvement, data visualizations, data to include, link to other data sources, operational ideas, and promotion/endorsements. Read more

Student Technical Services

Challenge: What technical services might students need from CU Boulder’s Office of Information Technology?

Approach: The clients wanted a user-centered approach to understanding what technical services CU Boulder students might need from OIT. The ATDT put together a custom design thinking experience to support this effort. Read more