Learning Empathy in Non-design Disciplines (76774)

Session Information: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Session Chair: Kari Krell

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 09:15
Session: Session 1
Room: Room 707
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Empathy is a crucial element of design thinking. Today, not only design students but an increasing number of non-design students are being introduced to the principles of design thinking. However, due to their diverse training backgrounds, non-design discipline students often encounter challenges when learning design thinking, particularly in understanding empathy. Few empirical studies have explored the learning experiences of non-design discipline students regarding empathy in Chinese higher education. This article aims to investigate how non-design discipline students learn and comprehend empathy in Chinese universities.

This research selects two groups of non-design discipline students from two project-based design courses at universities in mainland China. Group A consists of students with a social science background, while Group B comprises students with an engineering background. These students are new to project-based design classes. Data is collected through semi-structured interviews and documentation. Group A involves six students, while Group B includes five students participating in interviews. Additionally, interviews with their teachers provide insights into their learning experiences. Documentation encompasses teachers' teaching materials, students' design projects, and related design learning materials. Thematic analysis is employed in this study.

This research explores the significance of empathy in helping non-design discipline students grasp the essence of design. When teaching design to students in non-design disciplines, empathy serves as the foundation for achieving a genuine understanding of design. Learning empathy influences non-design discipline students, encouraging them to engage in real-life observations for inspiration in their design work and prompting them to question their assumptions throughout the design process.

Yating Li, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Henry Ma, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Elaine Wong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Shen Qianhui, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

About the Presenter(s)
Ms Li Yating is a University Doctoral Student at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00