That’s a Good Question

Using Design Thinking to Foster Question Formulation Skill Development


  • AnneMarie Dorland Mount Royal University



design thinking, divergent thinking, question formulation, inquiry


Design thinking is a critical and creative process understood to support innovation and creative idea generation in a wide variety of contexts. Increasingly, it is being used as a pedagogical approach by educators interested in supporting divergent thinking skill development. This study evaluated the effects of the use of design thinking practices on student learning within the context of the first-year post-secondary classroom. Analysis of student generated reflective statements and of in-class student work demonstrated that the use of design thinking practices may improve creative and critical thought and may enable students to achieve question- focused and divergent thinking-focused learning outcomes more easily. We know that the core of all student learning is in asking strong and resonant questions—this study demonstrates that the inclusion of design thinking practices in an undergraduate learning community may foster the skills required to do this critical work.