Journal of the Midwest Association for Information Systems (JMWAIS)


Companies who use design thinking increase revenues and shareholder returns at almost double the rate of their industry peers, yet over 90% of companies do not employ design thinking, due to a lack of design skills in the workforce. Educators can address this skills gap by adding design thinking to the curriculum. Design thinking is a process where developers and users physically collaborate together to develop new products, so discovering whether online students who are never physically present together can successfully learn design thinking is critical to developing curriculum. This study examines whether students in “asynchronous online” courses can successfully apply design thinking to develop a prototype, as well as provide substantial feedback on classmates’ prototypes during an iterative review process. The study employed an iterative model for the prototype design, review, and assessment. The results demonstrate that over two semesters an average of 77% of students successfully developed prototypes employing design thinking standards and 94% effectively provided feedback to peers on their prototypes during an iterative review process. The implication is faculty can confidently teach prototyping as a part of the design thinking process in asynchronous online courses, thereby helping to address the design thinking skills gap in the workforce.