Creating media rich content for learning: design thinking

Cognitive scientist and Nobel Prize laureate for economics, Herbert Simon, has contributed many ideas that are now regarded as tenets of Design Thinking in the 1970s. He used methods that are currently forming the foundation of the main phases of the Design Thinking process.

Lesson goals and objectives

In this lesson you will learn:

  • what design thinking is
  • the steps that form the Design Thinking process
  • why Design Thinking is an important skill to learn

Design Thinking

Creating media rich content has a very important rule: get inside the head of your target group. There’s no point in making products that you love as a teacher but that don’t catch on with the students. You must prevent students from finding your teaching materials boring, or irrelevant, or long-winded, or hard to find, or too long or too short.

Fortunately, there is something that can help us create rich media content: design thinking. Design thinking means know your target group.

What are the characteristics of your specific student group? How great is the reading ability? And do they like to read large pieces of text?

Students appear to have a great preference for learning material in the form of short videos. They also like a challenge. So, make sure you enrich the lesson videos with questions they must answer while watching the video. It is also important to give students the opportunity to rate lesson videos and other rich media content. Just like on Facebook and LinkedIn, articles can be liked with a thumb up, a smiley or other relevant emoticon.

Today’s students also love being able to chat about anything and everything. So, if it’s possible, add that possibility to your teaching materials. Design thinking starts at the very beginning of a new product. It is not technology driven but uses the latest available technology.

Design Thinking is based on the needs of the customer (or student, in your case). The question of what the needs of the users are is central:

First read the seven stages of Design Thinking, to understand the concept:

Why is Design Thinking crucial in education?

When looking at the rapid pace the world around us changes, our students will need to be adaptable and flexible. Students will need to be prepared to face situations that they have never seen before, and therefore need to be capable of different skills. Design Thinking is one of the best tools to be able to:

  • adapt and respond to new challenges.
  • identify and develop innovative, creative solutions to problems.
  • develop as optimistic, empathetic and active members of society
  • be able to solve the complex challenges the world is facing