Using an action research approach to embed service design in a higher education institution
Design Thinking can address the political and cultural divides in higher education and improve the focus on student experience. The challenge is reshaping a traditional organisation into a more modern one and at the same time creating an environment that is favourable towards change brought about by design-led thinking.
In one higher education institute, almost two years into the journey and despite some challenges along the way, Service Design methods are demonstrating their capacity to change the processes and procedures that support the delivery of student services in higher education.
An action research approach is currently being used to assess how the tools of Design Thinking are applied to real organisational problems and the consequences of design-led action. This research introduces a new set of tools and techniques to an organisation and analyses the effects of this fresh approach on the organisation via a number of action research cycles. There are many stages on the road to introduce Design Thinking as a bottom-up approach to changing an organisation into a more innovative, progressive, efficient and user-centred one.
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