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VIPP Visit the MSU Hub

Published: Tuesday, 14 Mar 2017
Author: VIPP
Department: Visiting International Professional Program

Have you ever wondered what goes into the design of a product or service? Why are some products considered "bad" when compared to others? It's all due to a process called human-centered design. Human-centered design (HCD) is a creative approach that starts with the people you're designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs. On March 1st, VIPP visited the MSU Learning HUB to learn more about this process and to gain some insight into realizing a more active, engaged, successful, and valuable user experience.

As part of our Signature Lecture Series VIPP collaborates with local figures, businesses, government offices, and other MSU Departments to enrich participant's American experiences. Leigh Wolf, Assistant Director of Innovation in Learning and Technology, spoke at the MSU Hub to discuss design thinking and how it has been used in curriculum development projects at MSU. Wolf talked about leveraging energy and inventiveness to connect people, create design opportunities, and facilitate innovation.

Ms. Wolf explained to participants that it's very important to keep the end-user in mind when thinking about design processes.

As part of Ms. Wolf's presentation, participants engaged in a design thinking activity to familiarize them with the HCD process. Participants were challenged to consider how to employ similar methods in their own work. "Design thinking is an active problem-solving process that can be applied across many disciplines," she said. "We believe this strategy might be particularly useful when thinking about the role of technology as we continue to consider how to best shape learning and teaching approaches in the context of 21st-century tools, spaces, and practices."

The MSU Hub has multiple ongoing projects. Below are just some of the amazing things the MSU Hub is working on:

  • Brody Engagement Center Art Installation- Assessing informal learning outcomes
  • Coursera Specializations- Expanding global learning
  • DOW STEM Scholars- Supporting early STEM students through general math courses
  • Integrative Studies- Creating a cohort-based, interdisciplinary learning experience
  • Math Quantitative Literacy- Informing future revisions of alternative math courses

These projects exemplify the types of work that the Hub hopes to connect, amplify, and expand upon. In order to do this, the MSU Hub recognizes the value of speaking with different audiences to gain feedback. VIPP participants asked a wide range of questions, from applying these methods in the workplace to making the end-user experience more satisfying.

After the presentation, VIPP participants were given a tour of the MSU Hub. Participants were impressed by the space; walls, desks, and whiteboards are constantly rearranged to inspire new physical spaces for collaboration. Members of the MSU Hub staff discussed learning analytics, digital technologies, and how the Hub is designed to encourage opportunity and innovation.

After the presentation VIPP participants were given a tour of the MSU Hub. Ms. Wolf discussed some of their ongoing projects and plans for the future.

VIPP participants were impressed by the passion and commitment the MSU Hub brings to Michigan State University and appreciated Ms. Wolf's time in talking with us. VIPP is proud to be contributing to MSU's innovation and the acceleration of new ideas.

To learn more about the MSU Hub make sure to visit their site

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