ABOUT THE COURSE
This is a three credit, online, asynchronous course, which means you get to work through much of the curriculum at your own pace over the duration of the spring term. I'll introduce you to new ways of thinking about and designing solutions for problems in the social sector. You'll explore real-world case studies and methods in the US and in international contexts. You'll learn how to infuse innovation and entrepreneurship into the community and civic problems that vex people, places, and institutions. Our broad focus is the ‘social sector’ and the kinds of novel policies, programs, interventions, and disruptive activities aimed at addressing society's challenges and opportunities. Course readings and lectures will introduce you to solution-oriented ways of thinking and the design thinking paradigm. Online assignments will expose you to a wide range of public-good case studies and success stories, and how the suite of human-centric, qualitative research methods and principles like journey and empathy maps, personas, storyboarding, and prototyping spur creativity and drive social innovation. Places like the World Food Forum are looking for ideas and we want the next generation of CALS graduates to be ready. The curriculum is built around case studies and real-world examples, with special attention to the rural ecology in the US and around the world.
Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector (2017), by Jeanne Liedtka, Randy Salzman, and Daisy Azer.
Online, asynchronous and self-paced
Dr Shawn Dorius, Sociology & Demography
A typical week will involve a reading assignment and assessment, reviewing prerecorded lectures and other digital content, and assignments and applications aimed at getting you to think about and test-drive design thinking methods. Some assignments will be completed individually and others will be tackled in groups so you can take on bigger challenges and get to know other students. Students will also get to discuss ideas and engage around a moderated weekly discussion board.
As an introductory course, there are no prerequisites to enroll.
SHOOT ME AN EMAIL IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS THE COURSE (firstname.lastname@example.org)