The project team conducted the survey among 250 higher education students from Estonia, Greece, Portugal and Finland to establish the state of art of Design thinking skills development.
Figure: Approaches to Design thinking at higher education courses
Almost half of the participants (40.3%) responded that they don’t really know if their university offers a specially designed course that focuses on design thinking approaches. Only 27.8% have been involved in a design thinking related course, while 72.2% have never attended any of these.
17 % of students were unaware of the Design thinking concept, 45 % had heard of it but did not know what it really standed for, and 36 % of students were familiar with Design thinking principles.
As claimed by the participants, design thinking is
- “a creative approach, which is based on expansion ideas” (19.5%),
- “thinking outside the box” (19.2%),
- “encourages empathy, openness to new ideas, and it’s non-judjemental” (15.6%),
- “user-centric appreach which focuses on the users and their needs” (15.4%)
- “uses analytical thinking” (12.6%).
About 5 % of students had misconceptions about Design thinking to be suitable only for solving well-defined problems without encouraging curiousity and iteartion.
Majority of students would prefer to apply design thinking by active learning scenarios inspired by everyday life incidents ( 42%), by playing hands on games ( 17 %), by digital gamified applications (13 %) and using learning by doing play (10%).
Inspired by these results the DesignIT team has decided to develop the mobile gamified version where design thinking can be applied in actual design challenges context by learning and doing.