Implementation Guide

Design Thinking

Help your students learn about Design Thinking, and how to apply it for a variety of problems, big and small.


Design thinking principles and best practices help us tackle real world problems by taking a human-centered approach to solutions. Developing a design thinking lens is an important skill for all careers and professions and can be a great tool to help students bring about innovative and positive changes to their school, organization, or community.


Tags: Design thinking, innovation, careers


Language availability: English


Recommended student audience:

  • 9th-12th
  • College
  • Adult

Connections to other SkillsBuild for Students content/courses: Once users have a good grasp of the content, they can become more advanced by earning the Enterprise Design Thinking Co-Creator badge, or learn to apply design thinking principles to the world of AI by earning the Enterprise Design Thinking Team Essentials for AI badge.

Implementation ideas

Do it in a day: Introduce the concept of Design Thinking, and have students complete this “What Is Design Thinking” course in the first section of the student learning plan


Do it in a week: Go deeper by having students completethe “What is Design Thinking”, “How Is Design Thinking Used?”, and “IBM and Design Thinking” courses, and introduce them to a possible career in the field through this I AM A SCIENTIST video about design thinking in an MIT Design Lab; all in the first section of the student learning plan.


Do it over a unit/summer: Once courses in the first section of the platn are finished, guide students to earn the IBM Enterprise Design Thinking Practitioner badge, the second half of the plan, where they’ll practice their new skills either individually or as a team and apply those skills to something they want to improve in their school or community.

Embed it in a class: Use our Design Thinking Curriculum Map available in the teacher resources channel to lead your students in a comprehensive deep-dive of Design Thinking.


What users are saying

 Design thinking is a must for everyone. -Ankush (student)


What an interesting introduction, about this new innovation Design Thinking and how it allows us, through empathy, to put ourselves in the place of users…Excellent learning. -Jose (teacher)