CIS 295: Design Thinking

Fall Semester, 2016

Instructor: Fuji Lozada

Students: Summer Abiad, Jennie Goodell, Annie Sadler, and Andrew Rikard

Course Description

“Design Thinking” is a collaboration between the Digital Learning Research and Design Initiative and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, with support from Dr. Fuji Lozada, Kristen Eshleman, Mike Goode, Amy O’Keefe, and Julie Goff. This independent study was conceived to explore design-thinking as applied to an undergraduate education. This experience will provide students with the Design Thinking methodology and allow students to apply the process of ‘empathy/research – define – ideate – prototype – test’ to a campus-based design challenge. In this iteration, students will use Design Thinking to reimagine an aspect of students’ Davidson educational experience. Students will move through the entire Design Thinking process during the semester.

This course will also give students the skills and portfolio needed to convey baseline competency in design thinking and project management, relevant for professional settings.

Learning Outcomes

  • Integrate the liberal arts approach into contemporary professions and workspaces
  • Conduct design thinking to generate innovative solutions to community problems.
  • Give and receive constructive and honest feedback
  • Share our experience with Davidson students and institutions. Be able to develop and facilitate a community
  • Capacity to focus a question and develop a method
  • Endlessly process, reflect, and  debrief (individually and as a group)
  • Discuss future of this group so it is a course future students can take
  • Define and redefine community roles in reflection; ability to articulate what/why/how
  • Experiment learning and working in different environments (Wall, apartments, kitchen, coffee shops, computer labs, outside)

Course Structure

This course will use a two week sprint structure adopted from the start up industry. Every two weeks we will evaluate what we have and what we are capable of doing in the next two weeks. This gives us the opportunity to push ourselves with strict two week periods while providing us the flexibility to adapt our  goals throughout the project eventually  bringing us to an end goal without needing to define it at the beginning.

2 hours – Sprint Planning Session &


Scrum 1.5 Meeting Scrum
2 hour meeting and


Scrum 1.5 Meeting with Kristen Scrum and 1 hour reflection

Each sprint has a sprint lead

Sprint Planning – 1 hour – First Monday of every cycle. Used to establish the goals for the next sprint cycle, breaking down larger tasks into smaller, manageable, assignable chunks.

Scrum: MWF at or before noon in Trello. Should be as few as 50 words, answering the questions:

  • What have I done?
  • What am I doing?
  • What will I do?
  • What do I need help with?

Present/Discuss with Kristen – 1 hour – Final Thursday of the cycle. Used to present the accomplishments of each sprint cycle with Kristen and hear an outside perspective

Reflection Session – 1 hour – Final Friday of the Cycle – sprint leader will guide a reflection on their sprint. Each member will bring a filled out group evaluation rubric (attached).

Assessment Structure

Group Rubric

At the reflection session, each student will bring a filled out group rubric for discussion. We will then use those as a basis for conversation. They will not count towards the final grades, until turned in to Kristen and Fuji at the end of the semester to be considered for a final grade.

Presentation Rubric

At the presentation session, Kristen and/or Fuji will fill out a progress report, measuring the success of the project. They will not count towards the final grade explicitly, but will be consulted when giving the final grade.

Final Rubric(s)

At the end of the semester both the students and Kristen/Fuji will fill out final report rubrics in consultation with previous group and presentation rubrics. The average of the student’s final report rubrics will count for 50% of the final grade and the average of the instructor’s final report rubrics will count for the other 50% of the final grade.

This final report rubric will be crafted in the middle of the semester as a way to account for the emergence of new and unexpected success metrics over the course of the semester.

The group will receive one grade rather than individual grades.

Why we’re doing rubrics

Crafting a rubric is not this universal, plug-and-chug ordeal. We want to measure each other according to the things each group member says they need. If a student needs honesty to succeed in a group, then the group needs to be assessed on honesty. We want to test if we can bring a rubric from the universal to the personal level.We want to measure our learning based off of the aspects of learning that we need both as individuals and that the group holds to have value. In this way we are shaping the grading system to reflect the values and styles of learning that, as a group, we hold in regard.

All work is subject to the Davidson College Honor Code as stated in the student handbook.


Date Session
Monday, September 12th Bootcamp into Design Thinking

  • Amy O’Keefe (Northwestern University)
Thursday, September 15th Sprint 1 Planning Session

  • Leader = Summer Abiad
Thursday, September 22nd Sprint 1 Presentation to Kristen and John-Michael
Friday, September 23rd Sprint 1 Reflection Session

  • Leader = Summer Abiad
Monday, September 26th Sprint 2 Planning Session

  • Leader = Annie Sadler
Thursday, October 6th Sprint 2 Presentation
Friday, October 7th Sprint 2 Reflection Session

  • Leader = Annie Sadler
Monday, October 10th Sprint 3 Planning Session

  • Leader = Jennie Goodell
Thursday, October 20th Sprint 3 Presentation
Friday, October 21st Sprint 3 Reflection Session

  • Leader = Jennie Goodell
Monday, October 24th Sprint 4 Planning Session

  • Leader = Andrew Rikard
Thursday, November 3rd Sprint 4 Presentation
Friday, November 4th Sprint 4 Reflection Session

  • Leader = Andrew Rikard
Monday, November 7th Sprint 5 Planning Session

  • Leader = Summer Abiad and Annie Sadler
Thursday, November 17th Sprint 5 Presentation
Friday, November 18th Sprint 5 Reflection Session

  • Leader = Annie Sadler and Jennie Goodell
Monday, November 21st Sprint 6 Planning Session

  • Leader = Jennie Goodell and Andrew Rikard
Thursday, December 1st Sprint 6 Presentation
Friday, December 2nd Sprint 6 Reflection Session

  • Leader = Andrew Rikard and Summer Abiad
Monday, December 5th→ Friday, December 9th Work on, finish, and present Final Proposal
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *