Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

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Creative, Critical & Design Thinking

Change the way you think.

Boost your problem-solving skills with innovative approaches

CCD 103 - Design Thinking C21

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
39 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Ramy Nassar
Course Dates:
05/04/2020 - 08/02/2020

Required Course Materials:
Kelley, D. and Kelley, T. 2013. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All. New York: Crown Business.
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:
This course will enable students to use design thinking methodology to assess problems and challenges, discover and use relevant data, develop design solutions, and construct prototypes for validation. Students will also learn how design thinking is a valuable mindset and model in today's global and mobile world and why it is quickly becoming an industry-accepted toolset. 
Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, students will:
  • Use a variety of tools to develop empathy with users and customers. 
  • Leverage a Design Thinking mindset to solve problems creatively. 
  • Lead the design of innovative solutions tailored to user needs. 
  • Apply a Design Thinking model throughout the creative process, focusing on divergent and convergent thinking. 
Course Evaluation

The final grade is calculated based on the following components:

Assignment #1: User Research – 25%
Assignment #2: Ideation and Prototyping – 25%
Assignment #3: Testing and Validation – 25%
Practice Activities – 25%:
--Discussions (7 x 2.5% = 17.5%)
--Sample Journey Map (2.5%)
--Case Study (2.5%)
--Practice Quiz (2.5%)
Course Format:
This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in Design Thinking and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings, and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.) 
Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:
Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays)
for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0)
will be applied. Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due
date (see Academic Regulations below), and will be granted for illness or emergencies only.
Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request.

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that
students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a
student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are
expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance,
assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified.
Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal
or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours of the originally
scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to
discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within
48 hours of the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course
instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in the case of a missed
test/examination, within the specified 48-hour window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the
coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of

Academic Integrity
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning
process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic
integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could
result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious
consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the
transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension
or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information
on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy,
located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in-group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:
Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations must contact the Student
Accessibility Centre (SAS) to meet with an appropriate Disability Services Coordinator. To
contact SAS, phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652, or email For further
information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation for Students
with Disabilities.
On-line Elements:
In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn,
WebEX, and external web sites. Students should be aware that, when they access the
electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user
names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all
other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology
used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any
questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
In this course, we will be using a web-based service ( to reveal plagiarism.  Students will be expected to submit their work electronically to so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty.  Students who do not wish to submit their work to must still submit a copy to the assigned Assignment folder and add a note in the comment section that they do not wish to have the paper scanned by Turnitin.  Those files will not be selected for submission.  No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to  All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.).  To see the Policy, please go to
Course Changes:
The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students
Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (
Storm Closure Policy:
In the event of inclement weather, Continuing Education will abide by the University’s Storm Closure Policy:, and will only close if the University is closed. All in-class courses, exams and room bookings by internal and external clients will be cancelled if Continuing Education is closed. On-line courses will take place as scheduled.
Grading Scale:
 Grade Equivalent
Grade Point
Equivalent Percentages
A+ 12 90-100
A 11 85-89
A- 10 80-84
B+ 9 77-79
B 8 73-76
B- 7 70-72
C+ 6 67-69
C 5 63-66
C- 4 60-62
D+ 3 57-59
D 2 53-56
D- 1 50-52
F 0 0-49
Course Schedule:

Topic & Readings

Assignments/Graded Components

Module 1: Introduction to Design Thinking

Discussion #1

Module 2: Understand and Empathize

Sample Journey Map

Discussion #2

Module 3: Problem Definition

Practice Quiz

Module 4: Ideate

Discussion #3

Assignment #1

Module 5: Prototyping

Discussion #4

Case Study

Module 6: Measure and Test

Discussion #5

Assignment #2

Module 7: Iterate

Discussion #6

Module 8: Organizational Change

Discussion #7

Assignment #3