Design Thinking in Higher Education

Design thinking puts high emphasis on pushing people to think outside the box and brainstorming. It looks more at prototypes and alternatives, and rewards solutions that are different than the problem. It’s split into 5 principles: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. These guiding principles push students to balance their wants with what’s doable with technology. Design thinking is very efficient in higher education due to it’s straight-forward, user-oriented basis and critical thinking processes.

When students in higher education are pushed to use design thinking, they are pushing their ideas through 5 principles: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. This helps them to better process their thoughts and ideas because they must take the time to process it through each principle. In the end, students have more articulate responses and respond to questions with deeper, more profound answers.

Before answers can happen, ideas must be born. Design thinking is important in helping to create ideas through brainstorming and brain dumps. It encourages out-of-the-box thinking and pushing boundaries, letting students push the boundaries of their imaginations. Letting go of the reigns opens the mind to creating wild and innovative ideas, which is exactly what students in higher education are looking for, especially in topics of research or study. Being able to come up with the perfect idea means the difference between researching something with fire and passion or with lackluster and envy of those who used design thinking to get their topic.

In higher education, design thinking is innovative pushes students to think critically, allows students to open their minds, and opens them to think outside the box. It’s helpful in finding those wild and eccentric ideas through brainstorming and brain dumps, and by pushing students to have out-of-the-box ideas, creating the perfect setting to find research topics. It also pushes students to take the time to think through the 5 principles, and can help them formulate smarter responses, creating a more well-thought out student.  Design thinking in higher education is critical in creating prime students.

Future of the University

Higher education is a fundamental phase in student’s life as it prepares them for a lifetime career. However, to guarantee that the higher learning institutions are relevant and meaningful, change must be incorporated into their practices. Notably, universities have to change how scholarly integrity and ethics are taught to the students. As a freshman, the first days of the semester when starting a new degree program are not only intense but also overwhelming as students try to find their way through the various workshops, orientations, meetings and the things they are expected to carry out. Amidst all this confusion, there is one workshop whose primary purpose is to educate the students on moral values and scholarly integrity.

Rules are laid out during the seminar with an additional discussion on some case studies. Conversely, a lot of it is forgotten despite the relative importance of the workshop on ethics compared to other aspects taught to the students. This might be facilitated by the nature in which the workshops are conducted. For beginners, it should be clearly stated that ethical dilemmas are queries of when rather than if. The students will encounter ethical dilemmas while they find their way through the higher learning institution pursuing the degree. Thus, it is important for the workshops to assert the fact that ethics is not a mere reflection of blacks and white as it encompasses other gray areas. Significantly, the students ought to be provided with reminders on ethics that enhances ease in resetting the ethical compass. Notably, ethical standards often differ from nation to nation posing a challenge to international students who face a hard time adopting the stricter standards for example in the United States. The syllabus on ethical issues should cover the important aspects that the students should grasp. The courses should be introduced in all higher learning institutions to enhance the graduation of altruistic students who are aware of the ethical dilemmas and are perfectly prepared to handle them.

How Conducting Researches Improves Higher Education?

In higher education, students are always trying to take their education one step further. Whether it’s through highly focused studies or intense dedication to their field, these students are constantly proving they can take the next big step in higher education. A large part of higher education is research. Research allows students to take their passion for their field and focus it into a topic they are interested in. Using research in higher education improves it and helps the students in many ways.

When students research in higher education, they are looking at what has been studied before themselves and how it benefits what they are studying. This means that their research is comprised of a lot of information from previously finished studies and experiments. By compiling this data together for their own research, the student is not only getting the information they need for their own research, but creating a bibliography of sources that are highly useful for someone with a similar topic. Having a bibliography means that if their work is ever looked upon or used as research by another student, there is the index of more sources similar to the research for other students to refer to. Using reliable sources is key in producing work that others can look at for their own research down the line.

The references are important, because the student is responsible for establishing credibility from the work to establish it in their own work. Having to find sources with credibility means students learn to be vigilant about weeding out those that aren’t good enough to be used for research. This teaches students to pay attention to details, as well as double checking their sources and facts to make sure they have everything straight. Another very important skill learned during research is time management. When students research in higher education, there is a large amount of time given for them to complete their research. This means it is up to the students to create and push themselves to stick to a timeline to get everything done in an appropriate timeframe. It’s a skill not all students learn, and some still procrastinate until the very end. But for those who do learn, they can thrive and take these skills into their everyday lives, utilizing time management for any kind of task that comes into their path.

Research in higher education teaches skills that students wouldn’t think they would learn, but can take into their everyday lives. It also shows students how to have a sharp eye, allowing them to find the most accurate sources, leading to a highly credible project. Having a solid end project is important and having the tools and skills to create that is something that only research can teach. Yes, everyone can write a paper, but it takes a lot of skill in higher education to create a masterpiece research piece that’s bulletproof all around. Having research in higher education is extremely important and very beneficial.

Open Access Journal

The open access journal is from Indiana University that is situated in Indiana, United States. The journal is published by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. The multidisciplinary, online peer-reviewed journal is devoted to publishing descriptions of environments, artifacts, and experiences created to support and promote learning within all contexts by specialists in any field. Significantly, the online journal is a platform for scholars to share their knowledge-in-practice in the form of detailed considerations on decision making and representations of their respective designs. The primary aim of the journal is to show dedicated support in the making of high-quality precedent materials and to promote their accessibility while highlighting the value of doing so. Notably, the audiences for the journal include teachers, designers, students and scholars who study the practice of design.

The International Journal of Designs for Learning addresses open access by ensuring that it publishes descriptions of environments, artifacts, and experiences that promotes learning by making the descriptions available to the interested audiences. The move by the faculty ensures that the publications will be vital components of research to scholars, teachers, and students as it enhances the provision of knowledge without the need for payment. The adoption of this policy by Indiana State University substantially reduces the existing barriers to research by making the publications available online to be downloaded for use. Significantly, this facilitates the accessibility of the literature on the public internet thus becomes more read and cited compared to the literature that only appears in licensed journal databases and closed access. The OA movement is a social association in academics that is dedicated to information sharing which is free of charge to the user. Similarly, the journal is devoted to sharing their knowledge-in-practice regarding their respective designs and decision-making considerations thus promoting their accessibility. This policy upholds the principle of the open access movement.

The link to tho journal: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/ijdl/issue/archive

Using Smartphones in Classrooms

Poll (2014) states that 84 percent of undergraduate students had smartphones in 2014, which was a high rise from the 72 percent ownership of the smartphones in 2013. Utilizing smartphones in education is becoming popular for most students. Those devices allow them to be a part of the educational process by increasing engagement. However, the use of it can negatively impact the student’s performance if it is not controlled. They can use it in another way like listening to music, using social media, and playing video games. Thus, they should receive helpful guidance and instructions on the use of smartphones in education. Instructors need to improve instructional methods in order to enhance content and take advantage of what could be a main instructional support (Buck, McInnis, & Randolph, 2013).

When students enroll in universities, they have significantly more freedom than they did in their previous schools. That freedom comes with more responsibility. Time management is an important challenge that students face at college. Students usually go through drastic changes the moment that they join universities, where their schedules are more adaptable. Also, they are responsible and have the freedom to manage their time (Roux, 2015).

Smartphones have some applications that assist on and off campus educational operation. Through utilizing the devices, students will be able to access course materials, participate in discussion, and share information with instructors or peers. They can get their test scores through their smartphones, as well (Rung, Warnke, & Mattheos, 2014). Even with those advantages, Chen and Denoyelles (2013) observe that students who are fond of smartphones are likely to have lower scores than their classmates who decrease their use of smartphones during a class. These negative influences of technology can be minimized if institutions adopt the technology and provide training for students on how to utilize smartphones for academic tasks (Rung, Warnke, & Mattheos, 2014).

As I have shown, smartphones may be used in many ways; therefore, correct use might reinforce learning, while incorrect use might be a barrier to learning in a classroom. Smartphones have to be integrated into the educational process. Thus, instructors and students can benefit in many ways from using those devices in the classroom that support sharing knowledge and improving collaboration between students and instructors (Cosier, Gomez, McKee, & Maghzi, 2015).

Resources:

1- Poll, H. (2014). Pearson Student Mobile Device Survey 2014. National Report: College Students. Retrieved from: http://www.pearsoned.com/wp-content/uploads/Pearson-HE-Student-Mobile-Device-Survey-PUBLIC-Report-051614.pdf

2- Buck, J. L., McInnis, E., & Randolph, C. (2013). The new frontier education: The impact of smartphone technology in the classroom. “2013 ASEE Southeast Section Conference. Retrieved from: http://se.asee.org/proceedings/ASEE2013/Papers2013/177.PDF

3- Roux, A. (2015). The 3 challenges most students face making the transition from high school to college. Retrieved from: http://www.youniversitytv.com/college-tips/3-challenges-students-face-making-transition-high-school-college/

4- Rung, A., Warnke, F., & Mattheos, N. (2014). Investigating the use of smartphones for learning purposes by Australian dental students. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, 2(2). doi: 10.2196/mhealth.3120

5- Chen B., & Denoyelles, A. (2013, October 7). Exploring students’ mobile learning practices in higher education. Educause Review. Retrieved from http://er.educause.edu/articles/2013/10/exploring-students-mobile- learning-practices-in-higher-education

6- Cosier, M., Gomez, A., McKee, A., & Maghzi, K. (2015). Smartphones permitted: How teachers use text messaging to collaborate. Education and Information Technologies, 20(2), 347-358.