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ADD101 - Design Thinking


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Classes and seminars in Trimester 2/Semester 2, 2020 will be online. Physical distancing for coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect delivery of other learning experiences in this unit. Please check your unit sites for announcements and updates one week prior to the start of your trimester or semester.

Last updated: 2 June 2020

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waterfront (Geelong), Cloud (online)
Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Nicole Prowse
Trimester 2: Nicole Prowse
Cohort rule:






Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

1 x 2-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

Online independent and collaborative learning activities including 11 x scheduled online seminars

Online students must attend/review online seminars and participate in discussions and activities as required for assessment.


This unit will investigate 'design thinking' as a strategic methodology and problem solving process. Taking a multi-discipline, interdisciplinary approach, students will be required to use 'design thinking' as a problem solving process. 'Design thinking' methods will require students to adopt a human-centered approach to innovation that draws on their skills to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements of business and society as a whole. Students will work individually and in workshop teams, the final assessments will be a combination of research and practice outcomes. Students will use 'Design thinking' methods to address a 'wicked problem'.


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit

At the completion of this unit, successful students can:

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes


Display an understanding of the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required for visual communication design practice

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Demonstrate an ability to effectively communicate ideas using specific language, concepts and media to transmit ideas in response to design briefs

GLO2: Communication


Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical knowledge and practical skills with digital technologies to achieve user experience design outcomes

GLO3: Digital literacy


Apply design thinking methods to empathise, analyse, ideate, prototype and test complex and ill-defined problems

GLO5: Problem solving


Collaborate effectively professional team to deliver industry standard outcomes

GLO7: Teamwork

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Trimester 1:
Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 (Individual) - Research Essay. Discover different design thinking methodology 1200 words 30% Week 4
Assessment 2 (Individual) - Collaborative Workshop: Defined problem and document activities using the 5 steps Design Thinking process 1200 words or equivalent 30% Week 9
Assessment 3 (Individual) - Final Report of Process. Incorporate a descriptive analysis critically evaluating the design thinking method and workshop results 1600 words 40% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link ADD101
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list.

Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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