Saturday, 22 August 2015

Free 7 week online course for social change solutions @hj_dewaard #elearning

Helen J. de Waard - who picked up the link via @russdev got me onto this fabulous free online course "design kit". It's a 7 week curriculum course that looks at human-centered design and looks for sustainable solutions for social change and it requires no prior experience to get started. The course is offered through NovoEd, which also features other courses.
Another bonus is that you will get to work with a small group of people, and they suggest you link with group members from the same region (making face-to-face options possible as well). I like this mash-up of virtual and real life. And with an estimated workload of 5 hours per week.

Course link:

What is Human-centered Design? from on Vimeo.

a bit of information on the course from their website:

This seven-week course will:

  • Equip you with the mindsets and methods of human-centered design so that you can be more intentional about facing and solving your current challenges
  • Let you experiment with the power of human-centered design
  • Teach you to identify patterns and opportunities for concept development
  • Inspire you to approach challenges differently and experience how human-centered design can add new perspectives to your own work tackling poverty-related challenges
  • Give you hands-on experience speaking to, prototyping for, and testing solutions with the people you're designing for

How the Course Works:

You will work through the course with a group of 2-6 people we will refer to as your “design team". It's strongly recommended you form a team with people located in your city before starting the course but you will also have the opportunity to find a team using the course platform once the course starts.

You will learn the human-centered design process by applying it to one of three pre-crafted real world design challenges (provided in the course). You will also have a choice to craft your own challenge. Each week you will explore the main human-centered design concepts through readings, case studies, and short videos. Then you'll be expected to meet in-person with your design team to get your hands dirty practicing the relevant human-centered design methods.

Throughout the course you'll have the opportunity to interact and gain inspiration from design teams around the world taking the course with you and ask questions of experienced human-centered designers when you feel stuck.

Building Your Design Team:

Many of the workshop activities will work best if your group has at least four members. Too small and you lose the benefits of a multidisciplinary team, but too large and it may be difficult to coordinate schedules and make decisions. Select people from different backgrounds or of different skill sets, and you'll have a better chance of coming up with unexpected, innovative solutions.