Inderscience Publishers

A new project-based curriculum of design thinking with systems engineering techniques

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Active learning project sequence (ALPS) is a new education curriculum that emphasises team project-based learning based on design thinking and systems engineering methodologies along a ‘V-model’ roadmap. Throughout six months, students identify requirements and propose solutions as product-service systems. The multi-university faculty team come from Japan (Keio University), USA (Stanford University and MIT), and Netherlands (TU Delft). Each year, the course selects a social theme such as ‘enhancing senior life in Japan’ (2008), ‘creation of sustainable community’ (2009), ‘safety and security’ (2010), and ‘symbiosis and synergy’ (2011) to guide projects. Since 2010, the teaching team invited companies, government and non-profit organisations to propose projects based on the social theme. Final deliverable is an in-depth analysis and recommendations based on the latest insights using design methodologies. By proposing an ALPS project, proposer organisations can encounter fresh, innovative ideas from the mixed student body of multinational/cultural/professional backgrounds and experience sophisticated system design methods.

Keywords: design thinking, voice of customers, voice of society, V-model, active learning, team project-based learning, scenario development, multi-disciplinary teams

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