Getting Radical: Using Design thinking to Tackle Collaboration Issues


  • Rose Bene
  • Elizabeth McNeilly University of Calgary



Design Thinking (DT) has recently been adopted in some higher education disciplines as an effective pedagogical approach to enable students to acquire the skills needed for solving real world problems. As a human-centered, iterative process, design thinking is characterized by working with others to understand, define and solve problems using empathy, creativity, and radical collaboration. Many university courses also stress collaboration as a learning approach. However, not all students function well in collaborative environments. Based on their work in the Design-based Thinking course at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, the authors asked, “could the design thinking process be used to foster collaboration among students and encourage radical collaboration”? In this paper the authors present a brief overview of the literature in this area and propose some parallels between the design thinking and collaborative team building processes.






Design Thinking and Experiential Learning