design thinking Pioneered by the Stanford, Innovation by Design is a process that is extremely useful in tackling complex problems that are ill-defined or unknown, by understanding the human needs involved, creating many ideas in brainstorming sessions, and adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing. Understanding these five stages of Design Thinking will empower anyone to apply the Design Thinking methods in order to solve the complex problems that occur around us — on our campuses, in our research, and even in our communities.

The Design Thinking Workshop Series will offer 4 incredibly fun and highly-interactive workshops to teach design thinking. We take a learning by doing approach in each of the workshops so that by the end of each workshop, you will have learned how to apply design thinking to tackle tough challenges in the classroom.

For more information about this workshop series, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in the UAB Collat School of Business.



All CTL workshops in this series have concluded for the current semester.

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  • Workshop Descriptions

Redesigning the Classroom Experience

Are you having a tough, energy-draining challenge in the classroom that will require you to take a new and innovative approach to solve?  Bring your challenges to us and we’ll help!  In this 90 minute design sprint, participants will work in teams of two to find better ways to tackle a challenging problem that each person faces in the classroom.  The exercise will cover every step of the design process: empathy, define, ideate, prototype and test.  By the end of the workshop, not only will participants have discovered a new and innovative way to tackle a classroom challenge, but they will be able to apply this method to tackle any range of challenges in the future.


Empathy Bridge

Have you ever wondered what the heck is wrong with these students?  Does it seem like students are getting harder and harder to teach every year?  Do you want to vent your student frustrations with your peers and get to the bottom of things?  This is the workshop for you.  The first step in designing an amazing classroom experience is to understand your students – what’s important to students, how can you make your content of interest to them, and how can you provide yourself and the students with a great experience?  This is your chance to ask some of your toughest questions directly to students in a safe, fun and comfortable environment outside of the formal classroom setting.  Be ready though, students will be in a separate room coming up with tough questions for teachers.  The goal of this session is to bring students and teachers together in an inclusive and fun way to help both sides build empathy for each other and design amazing classroom experiences for both.


Brain Storm – How Might We...

Seeking inspiration for how to change things up in class?  Interested in working with colleagues to come up with new and novel ways to engage with students and content?  In this session, we introduce a new way to engage in brainstorming that is active, fun, collaborative and assured to results in innovative solutions.  We help you push past obvious solutions to get to breakthrough ideas that can be implemented immediately, using the collective experiences and support of colleagues.  Just come with one of your toughest challenges to develop a brainstorming prompt exploring How Might We Reimagine…


Design Thinking as a Class Exercise

Are you frustrated with student projects that oftentimes just don’t push beyond the obvious solutions?  Design thinking is a process that can help students arrive at far more innovative solutions. Learn how to teach innovation by design to your students as a class exercise to get them to explore groundbreaking ideas.  In this workshop, we’ll help you develop a design thinking class exercise that will help students learn how to gather inspiration, push past obvious solutions to get to breakthrough ideas, and build rough prototypes to learn how to make ideas better.  Students will also learn how to effectively collaborate with others in teams to generate, build and implement breakthrough ideas.