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Dr Sanjay Dhande

As the chief mentor for Avantika University, Dr Sanjay Dhande drives the academic vision for the forthcoming initiative from MIT Pune. As the former Director of IIT Kanpur, Dr Dhande is an innovative technologist, an acclaimed academician, an eminent researcher, a visionary institution builder and an able administrator, whose contributions are acknowledged not only in India but also in many other countries.

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Design-Led Curriculum to Disrupt Indian Education for Good

The active prototyping in education will help institutions adapt faster to the fast changing needs of students. A human-centric approach will help transform and innovate effectively.

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We live in the world that is changing faster than ever. Every day we have more, and more complex issues are that getting surfaced. Our conventional models of learning conceptualised since Industrial Revolution are not helping our new age students with the fast-moving world of today. Think about Uber and Airbnb – what seems to be common among them is a design thinking-based approach to serving customers.

Design Thinking is a creative, logical tool that can facilitate innovation and transformation. Applying it to business problems empowers organisations and individuals to understand their competitive and operational environment better. Even our current strategies and approaches are designed in a conventional manner whereas their focus should be on value creation. New skills are needs in the working life and therefore also education needs to change. We need skills as the ability to think creatively and critically, take initiative and work collaboratively for common goals. There is a need to apply Design Thinking to our educational methodologies for the new age students to understand the basics of human needs and human problems while delivering the real-time value. Design Thinking enables intuition into the strategy process. Design thinking offers enormous potential to improve the current educational system. Our future business leaders need to be effective Design Thinkers.

Though innovating by design is not a new concept for India. As part of our legacy, we have been applying similar traditional methodologies guided by human-centric principles. Learning by Doing should be the new Teaching fundamental. A pedagogical shift in education model should help learners with how to learn and not what to learn. It must encompass project based initiatives and workshops. The value driven framework should apply design thinking principles on how it can change the mode of learning. Below are some of the design thinking principles that can be used to offer a unique learning environment for students.

•Learning by Exploration: Observation and understanding of the surrounding and identifying the problem areas thus achieving a greater understanding of its core cause.
•Empathy: By employing active listening, drawing and observation develop a deeper sense of understanding people’s behaviour, expectation, decision-making process, and their personal, cultural values. It adds value to better collaboration for the learning environment.
•Creative Thinking: Making notes of all possible things for divergent thinking without judging on the nature of the solution. The idea is to promote effective collaboration
• Reflection: Narrowing down the ideas on the scale of functionality
•Creation/Prototyping: Rapid prototyping and brainstorming, embracing failure as a prerequisite for success.
• Implementation: Putting the production to practice and checking its effectiveness.

The active prototyping in education will help institutions adapt faster to the fast changing needs of students. A human-centric approach will help transform and innovate effectively. It will empower learners to become creative thinkers who can create meaningful solutions with a problem-solving attitude.

Disruptive approach beyond traditional lectures by applying Design Thinking principles will inspire and guide the students to build a better future for everyone.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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