The Collaboration Learning in the Interdisciplinary Workshop Based on Design Thinking: A Learning Outcome Perspective

  • Jun XuEmail author
  • Gang Liu
  • Sicong Liu
  • Raoshan Xu
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10919)


Design thinking has been indicated as an approach to improve innovation abilities by focusing on collaborative learning and working. In the past five years, innovation workshops which combined design thinking and interdisciplinary sprung up in China’s colleges. In order to explore an effective teaching strategy and improve the teaching effectiveness in these workshops, researchers made learning outcomes based on the five main parts of design thinking, and performed the collaborative task for students. In past teaching practice, the researchers found that students tended to do what they can; few of them were willing to learn what they can’t. In this paper, I focus on proposing four learning outcomes to promote students in the multidisciplinary workshop to learn from each other in performing the task together. The four learning outcomes are: a poster of user research, a storyboard, 3 prototypes and a road show. The paper also answers two questions, (1) How to make learning outcomes to deal with cognitive divergences among interdisciplinary students? (2) How to promote collaboration learning effectiveness in interdisciplinary workshops?

This paper introduces a project in which thirty college students, who came from four programs, performed a smart product design task in interdisciplinary groups. The research has two objectives: to experiment the advantages and disadvantages of four learning outcomes in collaborate learning for four specialties students, to reveal the significance of four learning outcomes at interdisciplinary collaborative learning.

In the interdisciplinary workshop, thirty college students came from design, electronic, machinery and software programs. The students were put into five groups based on different disciplines and performed four learning outcomes, which were a poster of user research, a storyboard, three prototypes and a road show. It took eight days to finish the whole task. At the end of the workshop, the students filled in the questionnaire. The data showed that more than the half students thought the four learning outcomes enhanced their learning interest, and promoted their collaborative learning.

The results obtained in this research summarized the advantages and disadvantages of the four learning outcomes and proposed the significance of these at interdisciplinary workshop. The advantages are these outcomes reduced learning difficulties and divergences as well as shorten the collaboration time. The disadvantages demonstrated can’t improve the professional abilities and interdisciplinary collaboration in deeper level. Next the two significances outcomes were, a. it improved interdisciplinary student collaborative abilities by using 4 learning outcomes, b. it provided a visualization method to reduce the difficulties in collaboration learning and provided a model to make self-reflections.


Design thinking The cooperative learning Learning outcomes 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nanjing College of Information TechnologyNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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