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Making Engineers Future-Ready by Building Design Thinking Skills - a Blended Learning Approach

EasyChair Preprint no. 3088

8 pagesDate: April 1, 2020


At Mahindra Technical Academy we aim to create future-ready engineers by training them on design thinking (DT). The organizational expectation from these engineers is that they challenge conventional thinking and innovatively use all our resources to drive positive change in the lives of our stakeholders and communities across the world, to enable them to RISE. Human-centred design thinking (DT) is a problem-solving approach that focuses on users and their emotional needs while experiencing products and services. It is a structured process to find solutions to multifaceted human problems. The uniqueness of the design thinking process is that it helps people to identify and solve problems that are unstructured and have no historical references. It helps dissect problems that are complex and frame/reframe areas that require solutions. To train a large community of engineers (~ 3000) in design thinking in a very short time (1 year) we need a training program that is scalable, customizable and cost-effective. We explored a blended learning approach to realize this objective by leveraging: a) Design thinking online course from IIT Madras on NPTEL b) A series of four DT Sprints conducted by a practicing DT expert, and c) Mini projects carried out by small teams under the guidance of DT experts.

In this paper, we share our key learnings from our blended learning, design thinking pilot project. We will DT projects ranging from last-mile connectivity to smart farm vehicles, to illustrate the uniqueness of our blended approach. We started our journey by applying design principles to design products and now we see a greater potential to re-design the organizational mindset and culture through collaborative ideation and prototype building. Most recently, we have built a DT lab to provide a conducive space for our engineers to practice DT.

Keyphrases: blended learning, Capability building, cost effective, Design Thinking, digital learning, Future competencies, Future of Learning, shared mobility, smart farm vehicle

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Sayantan Mukherjee and Stuti Singh and Shankar Venugopal and Roshan Mehta and Balachandar Ramadurai},
  title = {Making Engineers Future-Ready by Building Design Thinking Skills - a Blended Learning Approach},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 3088},

  year = {EasyChair, 2020}}
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