DE7001 - Design Thinking

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What will I learn on this module?

You will learn concepts and principles of design thinking delivered in three knowledge portfolios; creative thinking, research principles and contemporary influences on design, these fields of knowledge are supported and informed by academic staff research specialisms.
Creative thinking methods will enable you to frame problems from multiple perspectives and synthesise new opportunities and possibilities from interrelated factors. You will develop a practical knowledge of advanced design research methods. Through contemporary influences you will learn to situate design in the contemporary world and identify the impact of external factors on your own design practice.
The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied in the context of a team project with industry or other collaborating organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of working in multi-cultural/multi-disciplinary teams. Recent industrial collaborations have included Procter and Gamble, The Centre for Process Innovation National Centre for Printable Electronics and the Academic Health Science Network.

Through this module you will learn about three fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.
You will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

How will I learn on this module?

In this core module you will learn about creative thinking, research methods and contemporary influences on design through two separate modes of delivery i.e. for campus based students (includes MRes) and distance learners. The on-line resources available for all students through the e-learning portal.

As a campus based student you will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, workshops and project supervision to cover three core areas of design thinking; - creative thinking, research methods and contemporary influences on design. Lectures will be used to introduce core concepts and smaller group seminars to support the student learning. A part of your directed learning will be based on practical engagement in a studio environment where you will be working on a team project, applying and testing the theory, knowledge, and concepts that you have learnt. Seminars and project supervision will allow you to engage with tutors whose research portfolios align with creative thinking and innovation, design research and research methods, contemporary influences and disruptive innovation to bring both theoretical perspectives and specialist expertise to the projects.
You will be conducting independent study as well, as it forms an important element of the module. Independent learning will centre upon the students identifying and pursuing areas of interest, by providing deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the subject through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, reflection, research etc.
As a distance learner you will access virtual classrooms (available on the e-learning portal) for live discussions and virtual taught sessions, which will be recorded and stored on the e-learning portal. These online sessions are timetabled weekly and will deliver relevant knowledge, information and direction for you to fulfil the learning outcomes. Through the e-learning portal you will be provided with resources in the form of scanned articles, links of books/articles/journals, PowerPoint lectures, word document, video lectures etc. relevant to your module. You will be given a reading list, but will also be required to create your individual reading resource as well. You will be using a discussion board to share your work and create a knowledge base for your peers. You will be also using Wiki (a learning tool on e-learning portal) to form focus groups on module submission and assessment criteria.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by a team of academic experts in scheduled timetabled lectures and seminars and will have the opportunity to discuss your ideas and methods through project supervision. You will engage in a rich dialogue with tutors (and fellow students) and receive feedback on on-going work giving you the opportunity to respond directly and as part of your process. You will keep a record of this feedback in order to progress your work to enhance both your skills and intellectual understanding and also to develop your Portfolio and PDP.

The Masters programme curriculum has been developed to capitalise on the extensive, active and well defined research emphasis of the School and channel this expertise to support your development in line with your PDP through a range of expert lecture, seminar, project supervision and tutorial support delivered both on campus and by distance learning. The E-Learning Portal provides important learning resources for both campus based and distance learning students and many lectures and seminars are recorded through BB collaborate and Panopto so that students can review their content after the event.

ESAP support is integrated with the programme and aims to develop study skills to support students achievement of module learning outcomes.

Where appropriate, students may also be directed to engage with Study Skills +, or other resources offered through the University Student Support Services such as Dyslexia Support.

The Library is open 24 hours a day and E-Learning Portal houses all your module documents including your timetable. These services can be accessed on a range of devices

The module will have a module leader who will be responsible for all your queries arising due to the content and delivery of the module. You will also be interacting with academic experts in the areas of innovation, research and research methods, disruptive thinking, and contemporary influences. Your interaction with these experts will help you expand your own practice and its application into different contexts.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding (KU):
1) Demonstrate scholarship in masters level research through a comprehensive literature review in the fields of creative thinking, contemporary influences on design and research methods
2) Develop your personal interpretation the theory and develop personal insights relevant to your field of practice

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
Application (IPSA):
1) Demonstrate the application of knowledge/theory/methods (as described in KU) in the context of your creative practice

Personal Values Attributes (PVA):
1) Critically review and reflect on the application, utility and limitations of the creative thinking, contemporary influences on design and research methods knowledge you have applied and the impact of this knowledge on your practice

How will I be assessed?

You will prepare a single illustrated portfolio of three components (as 1,2,3 below) evidencing your interpretation of existing theories and methods in the field (through literature review), application and implementation of this knowledge in your practice and a summarising the adoption and utility of this knowledge including evaluation and possible recommendations.

1) Creative thinking
2) Research methods
3) Contemporary Influences

The module will be marked as Pass/Fail.

This module is exempt from the Anonymous Marking Policy. The nature of working closely and directly with the students in workshops makes anonymity unfeasible.

Formative assessment will take place at 2 staged points and through on-going dialogue in group work, project supervision, assignment discussions and tutorials throughout the course of the module.

Summative feedback will be provided to students on a module assessment sheet against the module learning outcomes.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time
1 other options available

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location Design Building, City Campus East

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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