Design is a discipline that Sean Hobson, chief design officer at EdPlus at ASU, believes is relevant for higher education. Since Arizona State University’s creation of the New American University, design has taken a front seat to their evolution as an institution.
Defining the scope of design and the role it takes within an academic institution, can be challenging. Sean Hobson defines design into two essential tenets that include “the act of seeing something we want to be better,” and “the process of responsibly making it better.”
“This multi-disciplinary approach allows us to move from problem finding to problem solving by uncovering unmet end-user and market needs and translating these insights into valuable products and services,” Hobson said.
Design’s Role in Higher Ed
“Design lends itself very well to reimagining the future of higher education,” Hobson said. Design has to be done in a rapidly changing environment that’s complex, but it can help institutions to meet their learner’s needs.
At EdPlus at ASU, everything design element counts. Hobson praises EdPlus’ ability to have a clear vision about every project they tackle, with design consistently being leveraged.
“Whether designing the new employee education benefit plan or or using adaptive learning to increase undergraduate student success and retention, the Design and Development (D&D) group is relentlessly focused on helping the university achieve its goal of making more students successful, regardless of their background or location, “ Hobson said.
Ultimately, Hobson believes that design is “here to stay.”
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