Collaborative human-centered design

Human-centered design is an approach to problem-solving that involves gathering insight, brainstorming, prototyping, and iterating. It has been used in many contexts to facilitate creativity and innovation. Far from simple creativity exercises, the human-centered design methodology systematically approaches problems from the user's perspective. Practitioners gain empathy through interviews, focus groups, and observations. It encourages wild ideas and cross-disciplinary collaborations that generate testable solutions. This approach to problem-solving can be incorporated into many different subjects and classroom activities of all levels.

In this workshop, participants will learn the human-centered design approach to problem-solving. They will collaborate in teams to empathize and creatively ideate effective solutions. They will reflect on the process and share how they might integrate this approach into their work.

Goals of this workshop

  • Become skilled collaborators
  • Increase capacity for empathy
  • Systematically solve problems using human-centered design

Learning how to do creative problem-solving is essential for today's educators as our approach to teaching shifts to an active learning model. Human-centered design follows a logical and effective cycle that allows students to home in on a problem and develop effective solutions. They can explore different possibilities, be creative, and draw on various disciplines and approaches. By the end of this session, participants will know the steps of the human-centered design process and will have exercised this methodology during structured exercises. They will be prepared to introduce similar activities to their own classes and research teams, helping to better prepare their students to be creative problem-solvers.

Teachers and team leaders will benefit greatly from participating, as the workshop focuses not only on the application of human-centered design but also on ways to share this approach to problem-solving. 


Dr. Jerry Schnepp, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Visual Communication Technology at Bowling Green State University. Since earning his Ph.D. in Computer Science, Dr. Schnepp has worked in a variety of capacities to help others develop skills in technology. His teaching focuses on interactive media, web coding, and user experience. His talents for connecting diverse groups to achieve goals led to his appointment as the Director of the BGSU Collab Lab, a space on campus where students, faculty, and community members can collaborate on projects. Dr. Schnepp has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals on human-technology interaction, particularly in the areas of software abilities to bridge the gap between Deaf and hearing worlds and in technological pedagogy.