Interdisciplinary innovation starts with teachers. National Sun Yat-sen University’s College of Management received a grant from the Ministry of Education’s Information Technology Software Academy (ITSA) in 2023. ITSA, with the educational goal of fostering intelligent and interdisciplinary talents, collaborated with the Ministry of Education’s Miao Pu Program and NSYSU’s College of Management to organize an innovative educational activity on August 23, 2023, attracting the participation of professionals from various fields. The event was the Miao Pu Program’s “Design Thinking Introductory Workshop”, directed by the Ministry of Education and co-sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Talent Cultivation Program in Universities and ITSA, with the aim of guiding professionals in the education sector to engage in pedagogical reform and to incorporate design thinking and innovation into their teaching practices.
The Mini Design Thinking Workshop in the morning was one of the highlights of the event. Participating teachers from different professional backgrounds worked together in groups of two to design a high-tech dream wallet for each other. The activity was divided into two stages. First, participants designed a wallet based on each other’s external characteristics purely through observation. Then they utilized the five steps of design thinking (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test) to understand each other’s needs more precisely and seek innovative solutions. This process demonstrates the core spirit of participatory design. Through interaction and interviews, the designers gained a deeper understanding of each other’s real needs and worked together to create solutions, demonstrating the value of design thinking.
The afternoon program focused on producing a 2-day, 18-hour interdisciplinary workshop curriculum. There were three steps to reach collaboration and consensus: exploring the connections between each other’s domains, working together to develop workshop topics, and finally planning a complete interdisciplinary curriculum. The curriculum was organized in such a way that it included four teaching methods: observation, one-way teaching, student discussions, and learning by doing. Teachers will introduce this diverse range of teaching methods into the classroom to stimulate students’ interest and participation. Together, teachers explored the multifaceted aspects of teaching, ultimately collaborating to create a two-day workshop.
The core concept of this event is design thinking, guiding participants on a learning journey full of iteration and optimization. During the event, teachers reimagined their teaching methods through icebreaker games and teamwork, fostering more creative teaching styles. Speakers at the event emphasized the importance of diverse teaching methods, encouraging each teacher to develop a unique style to engage students’ interest and participation. By introducing practical examples, teachers gained a deeper understanding of the advantages of different teaching methods.
The workshop not only provided a platform for education professionals to practice design thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration, but also stimulated the innovative potential of the participants. It is believed that participants will be able to utilize the knowledge and skills learned in the workshop to open up new possibilities for educational innovation. NSYSU’s College of Management will continue to enrich the knowledge base of teachers and students, collaborating to promote innovation and progress in the education sector.
(Written by Kui-Ying Huang, senior in Business Administration / Edited by College of Management Media)