By Flora Chan

How to reinvent teaching strategies to build engineering program resilience for sustainability?

When you consider putting students in the problem-solving, the solution is more grounded and adapted to the situation.

In this video of Design Thinking in Development Engineering Education, Flora Chan shared how to use Design thinking applying to a project-based human-centered design thinking program.  It is one of the agenda at the MIT D-Lab of Massachusetts Institute of Technology on creating low-cost prosthetic and assistive technologies for the low-income countries.

Teams of students with diverse backgrounds are paired with international stakeholders and industry partners to tackle real-world prosthetic technology needs. Learn the design process through interactive lectures and workshops in the classroom, and are allowed to conduct testing of the prototypes generated during the semester at field sites around the globe.

The revamped course offers a fully immersive design experience that extends beyond the classroom and the semester by stimulating further research, inspiring and motivating student professional development, raising additional grant money and generating peer-reviewed publications and intellectual property. 

As a result of the new course, initiatives mean student enrolment has tripled, and the total project continues beyond the end of the class has exceeded 60%.

The novel pedagogical approaches and collaborative efforts showcase a promising way to engage students in impact-focused project-based learning with long-term benefits for their projects as well as their career development opportunities.