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Masterclass: Design Thinking – Approaches to Student Engagement

This event took place on 16 November 2021.

This session provided staff working with students with new tools to open up spaces for discussion about inclusive education, curriculum design and other departmental challenges.

Design thinking offers new tools for decision making, problem solving, and ideation drawn from the business and digital realms. The approaches used within design thinking reflect the complexity and uncertainty brought about by the accelerated levels of innovation and change. Similar levels of complexity and change are also present in a higher education context. In a recent WONKHE article, some of the values and opportunities which design thinking offers in higher education have been explored.

Design thinking is an approach that provides a range of tools for engaging students and staff in working collaboratively to find solutions.

During this interactive and thought-provoking masterclass Dr Bo Kelestyn, Senior Teaching Fellow and Director of Student Experience in the Department of Chemistry, guided participants through the fundamentals of design thinking and helped them consider how it can be used for co-creation in their work and Department.

Opened by Prof Rebecca Freeman, Dean of Students to provide the institutional context, this session focused on how design thinking can be used to create a dialogue and problem solve in collaboration with students in the context of inclusive education, curriculum review and other departmental challenges.

Participants heard from from Bo about her experience of implementing design thinking for co-creation at Warwick and beyond. By the end of the event, participants had a good understanding of what design thinking entails and how they can start using it for co-creation with your community.

Who was the event aimed at?

Directors of Student Experience, Directors of Education/T&L, Directors of Undergraduate Studies, WIHEA Student Fellows, SSLC Chairs and Secretaries, Academic Societies Exec.


Dr Bo Kelestyn

Senior Teaching Fellow and Director of Student Experience

Department of Chemistry

University of Warwick

Dr Bo Kelestyn is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Warwick and Innovation Consultant at Sprint Valley. As one of Warwick’s lead experts on design thinking, she holds an extensive portfolio of design thinking and innovation modules. Bo is also the Course Lead for the Leadership, Communication and Innovation Warwick Summer School and The Guardian Masterclass Tutor for the Design Thinking 101 course. She holds the Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and the Fellowship of Enterprise Educators UK. Bo has won multiple teaching awards and serves as a design thinking guest lecturer at several European universities.