groupteaching_small copy

My teaching mission is to foster students’ confidence in their ability to take action and realize their impact. Over the past 12 years, I’ve designed curriculum and taught courses in organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, innovation, and human centered design at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive education level. Across all case, I find that students gain confidence and learn most effectively when pursuing hands on self-selected projects with local and social impact and designs her courses around these experiences.  My experience starting Design for America, building the Stanford d.school, performing theatrical improvisation, designing toys with kids in the bay area, and leading outdoor education programs has profoundly influenced my understanding of what motivates student initiative and learning.

Winter Term

COMM ST 525, MTS 525, DSGN 495: Communication Design

DSGN/KELLOGG: Business Design Integration
The Business Design Integration Project involves applying specific knowledge of design and operations together with general knowledge of business to address a real world problem of importance to a client. Students work in teams of 4 – 7 students with the aid of a faculty mentor to provide practical guidance to an industrial client. Students engage in contextual inquiry to assess needs and blend design and analytical thinking to develop solutions. Past clients include Kaiser Permanente, Abbott Laboratories and Herman Miller.

Spring Term

DSGN 305: Human Centered Service Design (Undergrad)

The service sector dominates the US economy. Companies are turning to human centered design to innovate new services in our knowledge-based society. In this course, we will learn about a human centered service design process and apply the process to design new or improved services that connect deeply with people’s needs for connectedness, belonging, and autonomy. DSGN 305 is a project based course for students interested in a human centered design approach to service design. Outcomes may include organizational structures, new service designs, and possibly designed products to support the service. By the end of the course students will have discussed different types of services, applied a human centered service design process and tools to a real project, produced and tested service experience prototypes, discussed the challenges of implementing a new or improved service, and documented and communicated your results to stakeholders and peers.

DSGN 401:3: Human Centered Service Design (Grad)

This course explores interaction in the context of experiences and services. Students explore the nature of “service ecologies,” which comprise a set of actors (people and interactive products) and the relationships among them. Students learn to map and analyze existing services, and to design new ones. Case studies are drawn from areas such as retail, health, financial, and consumer services. Teaching methods include lectures, reading, case studies, homework assignments and projects.


DSGN 495/ME 495/EECS 495: Design and Emotion
Co-instructed with Dr. Mike Horn (Northwestern)
This doctoral seminar is designed to introduce students to the fundamental question and approaches to the study of design and emotion. The goal of this course is to involve students in an intensive, thorough survey of the major theories and research areas in design and emotion. Each week, we will cover an area in depth, explicate some major theories, review a select set of readings, and discuss some of the critical issues that have been raised with regard to theory and experimentation. Because design and emotion research is heavily influenced by social psychological theory, human computer interaction, and organizational behavior, we will review work in these areas.

ENG 106: Design Thinking and Communication
Co-instructed with Dr. Penny Hirsch (Northwestern)
Student teams work with real clients to solve real problems. Students learn human centered design, communication, and multidisciplinary team work.

MS&E: Creating Infectious Action
Co-instructed with Dr. Robert Sutton (Stanford), Diego Rodriguez (IDEO), Perry Klebahn (Timbuk 2), Michael Dearing (Harrison Metal)
This class immerses masters students in the practice and theory of creative large-scale persistent behavioral changes. Student teams will complete hands-on projects coached by design process experts and evaluated by members of partner organizations (Fidelity and JetBlue) and other business leaders, along with members of the teaching team. Class will present pertinent materials on topics including developing ideas that stick, leading social movement,s behavioral decision theory, network theory, interpersonal persuasion.

MS&E: Designing Mass Market Experiences
Co-instructed with Dr. Robert Sutton (Stanford), Perry Klebahn (Timbuk 2), Michael Dearing (Harrison Metal)
This class immerses students in the practice and theory of experience design for mass markets. Student teams will complete hands-on projects coached by design process experts and evaluated by member of partner organizations including Wal*Mart and Firefox.

EXECUTIVE EDUCATION: Customer Focused Innovation
Co-instructed with Dr. Robert Sutton (Stanford), Dr. Huggy Rao (Stanford), George Kembel (Stanford)
Customer Focused Innovation takes a hands-on approach to eliminating the red tape that impedes innovation. Participants learn strategic frameworks to better understand customer experiences, develop deeper customer insights, and diffuse customer learning throughout the organization. Additionally, the program provides cutting edge insights on the sources of customer satisfaction and brand personality. Participants discuss strategies for reducing the knowing-doing gap and building customer-centric culture. Leveraging resources from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, the program exposes participants to the latest research on customer-focused innovation. The program also features real-world field exercises that involve developing innovations to enhance user experiences in the B2C and B2B domains.

Design Thinking Bootcamp
Co-instructed with Dr. Terry Winograd (Stanford), Dr. Bernie Roth (Stanford), Dr. Tina Seelig (Stanford)
This week-long hands-on project-based workshop prepares students to lead innovation and design thinking in teams at Stanford and in your career beyond. It is based on our experience with many years of courses on Design Thinking in the Design Division, which have grown and extended to the cross-departmental d.school. The teaching staff includes the d.school faculty along with innovators and guest experts from design firms and innovative companies.

Advising Resources for:

  1. Mechanical Engineers
  2. Product Designers
  3. Management Science Researchers
  4. Human Computer Interaction Designers

Additional design and HCI classes taught at Northwestern:

  • COMM ST 227: Communication and Technology (Birnholtz)
  • COMM ST 353: Collaboration Technology (Birnholtz)
  • COMM ST: Assitive Technology (Piper)
  • EECS: Human Computer Interaction (Zhang)
  • EECS: Crowdsourcing Seminar (Zhang)
  • PSYCH: Visual Design (Franconeri)
  • SESP: Design of Learning Environments (Easterday/Horn)
  • SESP: Tangible Interfaces (Horn)