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Why should I take this Trinity Elective?

Sometimes we try to solve problems without understanding them from the perspective of those experiencing them. Thinking like a designer can transform the way in which we approach complex societal challenges. Design Thinking is a methodology to solve complex problems and find creative, innovative and desirable solutions.

It is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge any assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify innovative solutions to complex problems that might not be apparent or obvious.

What will I learn?

  • You will learn the skills of empathy, problem definition, ideation and prototype development.
  • You will begin to understand the evolution of creative ideas within a multidisciplinary context
  • You will be encouraged to reflect on this experience to better understand your own preferred learning environment and team behaviours.

What will I do?

This module will focus of the development of creative, design and critical thinking. It will encompass classroom based and online learning activities.
You will:

1. Develop comprehensive skills in empathy, problem definition, idea generation and prototype development.
2. Reflect on how Design Thinking could be applied within a wide variety of contexts (including their own discipline)
3. Work effectively within a multidisciplinary context
4. Appraise the value of Design Thinking to specific complex problems
5. Articulate the value of proposed solutions in a meaningful and concise manner.

How will this be delivered?

  • 4 x 2-hr online sessions;
  • 6 x 2-hr workshops;
  • 40 x hrs project work
  • 65 hours of independent study (including online engagement and application elements of online sessions)

How will this be assessed?

60%: Team project. Using Design Thinking to address societal challenges. In teams of 5, students are required to apply the Design Thinking methodology to one of the following societal challenges: a) Poverty b) Climate change or c)International conflict. Project deliverables are communicated through a short presentation (5-7minutes) worth 15% and a project report (2000 words) worth 45%.

20%: Personal Reflection (800 words): The depth, honesty and richness of the reflection provided using recognised models of reflection and appropriate grading criteria / rubrics; e.g. for descriptive, critical and dialogic reflection. Particular attention will be sought for changes in beliefs, attitudes and values.

20%: Engagement and Participation in online discussion: The quantity and quality of engagement in online discussion and material will be assessed in line with the learning outcomes. The quality of engagement will be assessed using appropriate grading criteria / rubrics; e.g. for relevance, peer regulation and feedback.

Who can take this Trinity Elective?

  • Any student eligible to take a Trinity Elective can select this Trinity Elective except for students taking the Undergraduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


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