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MOOC Offers Lessons for Design Innovation

The new online course begins on January 18

With its wide ability to solve problems and guide the development of products, systems, and services, design innovation has long been part of Northwestern Engineering’s educational foundation.

Starting on January 18, Northwestern Engineering will broaden its design curriculum by offering a massive open online course (MOOC) called “Leadership through Design Innovation,” which will teach participants about the process and power of design.

“Design is about much more than aesthetics, form, and beauty,” said Dean Julio M. Ottino. “It is a process, a discipline that can be used to develop almost anything. Everything that you encounter has been designed, but not everything has been designed well. Good design unlocks competitive advantage.”

Hosted by Coursera, Leadership through Design will teach participants how to engage with end users, effectively frame problems, identify potential solutions, and build prototypes to test assumptions and learn what works. Then participants will learn a range of ways to bring design innovation into their organizations.

The course will be taught by Elizabeth Gerber, associate professor of mechanical engineering; Pam Daniels, design innovator in residence at the Segal Design Institute; Ed Colgate, the Allen and Johnnie Breed University Design Professor; and Greg Holderfield, the D. Eugene and Bonnie L. Nugent Clinical Associate Professor of Design.

Leadership through Design Innovation is one part of the six-course series Organizational Leadership Specialization, which was one of the top 10 most popular certificates offered by Coursera in 2015. This online certificate program offers key strategies for successfully leading an organizational change effort.