Design Thinking has emerged to be a very hot methodology in the world to include not just the shaping of artifacts and designing of products but also the ways people interact with systems, services, and organizations. The Design Thinking course focuses on helping students develop problem solving skills in scientific research, product development, and business and organization innovations. 

The Design Thinking is a team-taught core course with the following primary goals:

  • To introduce students to basic design concepts, principles, and methods;
  • To equip students with the knowledge and skills set of the design thinking process and its applications to scientific research, product development, and business innovation;
  • To acquaint students with concepts in frameworks and methods that support design thinking;
  • To expose students in solving real word problems by utilizing the iterative design process and tools;
  • To help students understand the role of people in successful design thinking;


The course is designed for students in majors of medicine, humanities, business, sciences, and engineering. There are no prerequisites for students to take the introductory course.


The course is taught by AAFIE Global Professional Group, a group of senior professionals from U.S. multi-national companies.


By leveraging the world’s most advanced Internet video collaboration technology, the world-class professionals and senior engineers from the United States give real-time lectures to students, interact with the students, and guide the students in conducting international projects.

Students will complete the entire coursework in AAFIE Global Learning community, a platform specifically designed to promote global perspective, cross-cultural communication, international collaboration, and critical and creative thinking skills. In the Global Learning community, students are guided by international mentors

consisting of international senior professionals from multinational companies in the United States. Students need to submit their coursework to the global community, present their solutions to the global community, receive feedback from the global community, and complete their projects by discussing and interacting with the global community, making students learn in a real global context.


The course is mostly about real-world international design experience, therefore, there are no textbooks needed. Students will leverage Internet contents for project assignments and use live recorded sessions for class review.


To complete the course, a total of 32 periods is required for lectures and student projects. The course is divided into two segments in each week:

  • Design Thinking Mindset 
  • Project


Classroom Participations/Responses: 20%

Project: 50%

Final Exam: 30%

Attendance is mandatory for both components. Students are subject to losing points for absences unless prior approval is obtained from your Instructor or Teaching Assistant.

Late submission will be graded as normal, but with a 30% penalty. For student project, each team will initially receive a common grade, then each team member within a team will receive a different grade based on Team Evaluation.

The student project requires students to present their proposed designs in a final written report and oral presentation.