Ideation & Innovation in the Classroom
(Pictured Above: Matthew Flanagan and Katherine Frost)
Deborah S. Carstens, Ph.D., PMP
Students in the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business as well as other campus students interested in design take Management Information Systems, BUS 3504, and/or Human-Computer Interaction, BUS 3500. These courses incorporate many discussions and activities centered on the concept of ideation and innovation. Students are able to develop vague product, system or Web site ideas into more solid ideas enabling them to build storyboards and paper prototypes. The focus of discussion is to always seek input from the user or the potential user group to identify design requirements.
In Management Information Systems, students learn the concepts of flowcharting, brainstorming and storyboarding. Students focus on ideation involving brainstorming and access to 3D objects to spark inspiration to be innovative in their design ideas. In Human-Computer Interaction, students learn additional tools and techniques to help them get into the entrepreneurial spirit where almost anything imagined can be designed. Students focus on ideation through collaboration with others and additional brainstorming where no idea is criticized as every idea helps to promote unique and creative ideas leading to innovative design efforts. Storyboards are created by students that display how users will interact within their environments in using the product, system or Web site being designed. As the design idea is further developed, paper prototypes are built by the students. Students seek feedback from potential users to gain recommendations for design improvement. Students also have opportunities to evaluate existing technology to become familiar with the importance of creating usable designs.
Anyone in life can be involved in design teams regardless of their background. Some students may aspire to be an entrepreneur and others aspire to work on design teams for a company. While others may be an employee and therefore a user of a system that a company is building and therefore could be pulled into the design team. It is my hope that students are exposed to various tools and techniques throughout their education so they are better equipped with the process of ideation and comfortable with creativity so they are innovative in everything they do.