1st Edition

Design Thinking in Student Affairs A Primer

    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    Design thinking is an innovative problem-solving framework. This introduction is the first book to apply its methodology to student affairs and, in doing so, points the way to its potentially wider value to higher education as a whole.With its focus on empathy, which is the need to thoroughly understand users’ experiences, design thinking is user-centered, similar to how student affairs is student-centered. Because the focus of design thinking is to design with users, not for users, it aligns well with student affairs practice. In addition, its focus on empathy makes design thinking a more equitable approach to problem-solving than other methods because all users’ experiences—not just the experiences of majority or “average” student—need to be understood. Centering empathy in problem-solving processes can be a tool to disrupt higher education systems and practices.Design thinking is a framework to foster innovation, and, by its nature, innovation is about responding to change factors with creativity. In an organization, design thinking is inherently connected to organizational change and culture because the process is really about changing people to help them rally around a disruptive idea. Implementing design thinking on a campus may in itself be disruptive and require a change management process. The beauty of using design thinking is that it can also act as a framework to support organizational culture change.Design thinking approaches, with their focus on stakeholder needs (as opposed to systemic norms), collaborative solutions building, and structured empathy activities can offer a concrete tool to disrupt harmful systems of power and oppression. Design thinking as a process is not a magic solution to equity problems, though it can be a powerful tool to approach the development of solutions that can address inequity. Design thinking is data-driven and considers both qualitative and quantitative data as necessary to gain most complete picture of an issue and its possible solutions, whether a product, program, or service.Design thinking has numerous benefits to afford students affairs. Chapter 1 outlines a case for design thinking in student affairs. Chapter 2 discusses a brief history of design thinking, noting its germination and evolution to current practice. Chapter 3 provides a detailed description of each step of the design thinking model with pertinent examples to make the steps clearer. Chapter 4 explains the intersection of equity and design thinking while chapter 5 explores the use of design thinking for organizational change. Chapter 6 presents a new model for design thinking assessment. Chapter 7 addresses the challenges and limitations of the process. Chapter 8 concludes the book by discussing the alignment of design thinking and student affairs and outlining next steps.Design thinking is an innovative process that can change the way higher education and student affairs operates, realizing the potential it offers.

    Foreword—Janet Morrison Acknowledgments Preface 1. The Case for Design Thinking in Higher Education and Student Affairs 2. Design Thinking. A Brief History 3. Design Thinking Model 4. Equity and Design Thinking 5. Designing for Organizational Change 6. Design Thinking Assessment. Application of Design Thinking to Student Affairs Assessment 7. Discussion of Challenges and Limitations 8. Pulling the PIeces Together. Alignment of Design Thinking and Student Affairs References About the Authors Index


    Julia is a leader, innovator and “intrapreneur” who specializes in design thinking, collaboration and related methodologies that strive to design with rather than for people. As the Manager, Innovation Projects at the University of Toronto, Julia leads the Innovation Hub, an on-campus consultancy that supports building better campus experiences by leading interdisciplinary teams of students through design thinking processes with partners on campus. Julia holds an MBA in Global Leadership and a BA in Psychology. She has presented her work at various higher education conferences across North America and has trained and coached hundreds of students, faculty and staff through an equity-centered design thinking process in support of projects that create wide-scale change. Learn more about Julia’s work at www.juliaallworth.com Lesley is a higher education leader specializing in student affairs and storytelling with data. Currently, she is the Director of Strategic Storytelling & Digital Engagement in Western University’s Student Experience division. After focusing on assessment and storytelling in her two previous roles, Lesley is exploring how data-informed stories can be used to intentionally shift culture in positive directions using digital engagement and communication best practices. Lesley has held leadership roles in the Canadian Association of College & University Student Services and ACPA - College Educators International. She engages in public speaking on topics such as equity and decolonization in assessment, women in leadership, and change management. She completed her MA in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University in 2006. She loves gardening, music, and mothering her two little boys. Gavin W. Henning is Professor of Higher Education at New England College in New Hampshire where he directs the Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Doctorate of Education programs. Gavin is a past president of ACPA – Colleg

    "This book presents a reimagined model of assessment with design thinking, and instantly upon seeing it, you know how needed it is in education today. Focusing upon empathy, ideation, and storytelling throughout the assessment process, the authors of this book present a human-centered approach to engage in assessment of student learning. The design thinking assessment model and key questions remind us that our works sits within a larger context, one that can be infused with equity and act as a tool for decolonizing education."

    Natasha Jankowski

    Former Executive Director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

    "Design thinking can move organizations forward and find innovative solutions. This book in particular applies design thinking to student affairs and is a fantastic resource." Find Drew's full video review here.

    Drew Koch

    Student Services Coordinator, R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona