DHU Donghua University

Glorious Sun School of Business and Management



Course objective: The students will improve the ability in innovation by practicing the design thinking process: understand, observe, define, ideate, prototype and test. For each phase in this 6-step process, there are multiple tools to elaborate the user-need-insight. Innovation can be learnt. Everybody can become innovative. Real world challenge will be used in design thinking workshop. The innovative solution found in workshop by teams will be presented to companies. This is a win-win practice for students and companies.


  1.  Design Thinking: Process and Methods Manual, by Robert Curedale, 2014.2
  2. Innovative Design Thining: Methodology and Practice, By Bainian Lu, 2015.11 (创新设计思维:设计思维方法论以及实践手册,鲁百年,2015.11)

Course Content:

  1. Introduction to design thinking will be presented by instructor.
  2.  Team of four students will be formed. They are required to draw their team logo, motto, and picture of each member.
  3. The challenge will be presented to the students by the company. (Before the course, instructors talk to the company about the challenge) , thus the students can understand the challenge.
  4.  Start with phase 1: understand. Students use keyword substitution tool to explore the challenge. Stakeholders and their corresponding issues of the challenge will be analyzed. Each team chooses their specific perspective and users to work on in later phases.
  5.  Phase 2: observe. Questionnaire will be designed and users will be interviewed. Team members share their interview by storytelling. In this way they organized their result by grouping the information found in interview. Thus they understand the users concern and what is important to users. User need and insight will be uncovered.
  6.  Phase 3: define. Based on the result of previous phases, persona (typical user) will be described. And POV(Point of View, user-need-insight) will be formulated.
  7.  Phase 4: ideate. Brainstorming is used to find as many solutions as possible, for the POV defined in the previous phase.
  8.  Phase 5: prototype. Students use the new ideas found in ideation phase, and finish a quick minimum viable prototype.
  9.  Phase 6: test. Teams present their prototype to the class, and feedbacks will be offered for improvement.
  10. Wrap up the course. Each student shares their feedback for this course.  

Teaching Method: 1)     Instructor team members co-teach this course. One instructor teaches as facilitator, and the others are to coach the teams of students, through the design thinking workshop. 2)     This course is taught not in a traditional classroom, but in form of workshop. Students work in team, finding solutions for real world problems. 3)     Four sessions will be organized, each session lasts 4 hours. Extra curriculum time will be required to do interview and prepare for the prototyping, etc. 4)     The students’ performance is measured both based on team performance and individual contribution during the workshop. 5)     It’s fun to join this workshop, because many games are played.    


  •  Participation (15%)
  • Contribution in team work through the workshop (25%)
  • Team report of the project (60%)    

Course Slides(Short Version)

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