Design thinking survey results in Higher education settings

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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.


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