Design thinking is the power of innovation

Public defense: Sharon Guaman-Quintanilla

Sharons'  PhD defense takes place on wednesday May 4th. Her research is focused on design thinking in undergraduate students’ curriculum.

Universities are faced to the challenge to rethink and transform education that includes the skills people need to succeed in school, work and life. Various frameworks to portray the in-demand skills have emerged, such as soft skills or 21st century skills. Among the most common indemand skills are problem solving, creativity and teamwork. This set of skills lays out a critical agenda for universities. A promising approach to develop the aforementioned skills is labeled Design Thinking (DT). 

Despite of the increase literature about DT in higher education, meager attention has been paid to its actual impact on students’ outcomes. Moreover, various researchers criticize the lack of robust empirical studies to assess DT effectiveness. Thus, the current dissertation formulated two research objectives: (RO1) Determine the state of the art of DT in higher education settings; and (RO2) Evaluate the impact of DT on undergraduate students’ skills.

Feel free to contact Sharon if you would like to know something more about her research.