Ormond College Expands Its Design Thinking Module for AOC Students

Are college students ready to join the workforce right after course completion? Have we prepared them enough for the fierce work competition out there? Australia’s world of work is currently undergoing a significant disruption, therefore, increasing the need of businesses across all sectors for high-value talents. How do our students fair?

 

The Challenge

Are college students ready to join the workforce right after course completion? Have we prepared them enough for the fierce work competition out there? Australia’s world of work is currently undergoing a significant disruption, therefore, increasing the need of businesses across all sectors for high-value talents. How do our students fair?

Ormond College acknowledges the reality behind the readiness of new graduates – some are unable to adapt to non-traditional business structures, to dynamic work models, even to the automation of some tasks within the workplace. The result: young people turning away from jobs and companies that can potentially offer professional development opportunities and other valuable learning experiences.

To bridge this gap, Ormond developed the concept of the Associate Ormond College (AOC). The AOC is a new, optional qualification that is open to undergraduates, graduates, and staff. The six units that comprise the full program are designed to equip students with key workplace skills, covering areas such as Data Literacy, Creating High-Performance Teams, and Design Thinking. Students undertake one unit per semester, attending eight one-hour classes per unit. Over the course of their three years stay at Ormond, students fulfill the requirements for the AOC.

An important component of the AOC is the Design Thinking module. It is aimed at enabling students to craft and implement highly innovative projects. It focuses on improving the student’s capacity to be creative and to think beyond the ordinary which businesses consider as a valuable asset for their organisation.

 

The Sprint

At the beginning of 2018, Ormond approached Naked Ambition to help them develop and deliver the Design Thinking module of the AOC. We worked closely with the Acting Master of Ormond College and the AOC Manager to develop a practical and engaging design thinking course that could be delivered in one-hour blocks. We also utilised the close relationship that Ormond College has with the Wade Institute to bring in their alumni as coaches throughout the program.

The 40-student crowdsourced challenges from around campus and then self-organised into teams. In each workshop, Naked Ambition introduced a design thinking concept, all founded in the fundamental design thinking mindsets. The teams then applied these to their challenges.

 

The Outcomes

The students’ work culminated in a presentation to management with recommendations for executing on the opportunities and solutions they had identified during their Design Thinking module. In the real workplace, professionals are required to respond to problems and perform well-calculated steps to produce outcomes whilst avoiding risks and losses. The workshop certainly paved the way for a practical learning experience for all the participants which can be replicated & practiced by other AOC students. The Design Thinking module developed with Naked Ambition has proven to be a formula [CM1] for students to be more creative and resourceful when designing project ideas.

SUCCESS

“I was thrilled with the innovative Design Thinking program that Naked Ambition delivered for Ormond College. The 8-week course that we co-designed was hugely popular with our students. Attendance from week to week was strong, showing that students were enthusiastically engaged while learning new skills and mindsets in preparation for future careers in the modern workforce – And feedback told us that students had great fun, too!”

-Rob Leach