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Students as Partners SIG Event: Design informed approaches to student engagement and experience

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Image by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay

Date: Tuesday 4 July 2023

Time: 16.30 (GMT)

Register (closes 30 June):

Design practices, mindset and tools offer new possibilities for capturing feedback and solving innovation challenges in Higher Education. Engaging students as partners and co-creators of their experience lies at the very heart of the design ethos. Unsurprisingly, Jisc has named design thinking as one of the key capabilities for an HE leader in their 2030 strategy framework. Drawn from the business and digital realms, design thinking is highly relevant to the complexity and uncertainty brought about by the accelerated levels of innovation and change in HE. The student experience community is standing at the crossroads. We either fall back to the ‘familiar’ tools and ways of thinking or collectively explore the opportunities, new language, and innovative methods of capturing feedback which allow us to work alongside students to understand the felt student experience.

In this session, you will hear from three practitioners in the field on how they have applied design thinking and service design to inform approaches for student engagement and enhance the student journey. You will be guided through the fundamentals of the methodology with opportunity to reflect on how it can be used for student engagement and co-creation in your work and institution. By the event’s end, you will have an understanding of what design thinking entails and how you can start using it within your community.

This session is open to all staff and students from across the Higher Education sector, including professional and academic services groups, academics, students and student unions.


Dr Bo Kelestyn, Associate Professor and Student Engagement Lead, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick,

Bo is an expert in design thinking with a diverse teaching and consulting portfolio. She has created and led a number of interdisciplinary modules on innovation, entrepreneurship, and design thinking, and leads on The Guardian Masterclass on design thinking. She is the creator of the Warwick Secret Challenge, a problem-solving workshop with elements of design thinking, which over the last two years has also been developed into the Warwick Employability Challenge and the Warwick Sustainability Challenge. Bo champions the use of design informed approaches to student engagement and has worked with several universities on embedding design thinking into student engagement practices. This also includes sharing best practice via a podcast series in partnership with AdvanceHE. Bo has received numerous awards for her contributions to teaching & learning at Warwick and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of Enterprise Educators UK.

Jess Humphreys, Associate Professor, Academic Development Centre, University of Warwick,

Jess is the institutional lead for the Learning Design Consultancy Unit which strategically supported Warwick’s move to blended and online teaching and learning. The impact of the LDCU work has been recognised nationally with an Advance HE Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) in 2022. Being particularly interested in digital education and how we design learning using design thinking techniques, Jess has been involved in adapting the ABC learning design framework for Warwick, and training others in the use of design thinking tools as the course lead for the Postgraduate Award in Technology Enhanced Learning. Jess also leads and coordinates the Technology Enhanced Learning Forum and Technology Enhanced Active Learning Festival (TEALFest). Outside of Warwick Jess is vice-chair of the ALT-ELESIG (formerly the Evaluating Learner Experiences of E-learning Special Interest Group) and a reviewer for several journals including 'Innovations in Education and Teaching International Journal' and the 'Association for Learning Technology Review Journal'.

Jean Mutton, Consultant.

Following a first degree in Educational Research, Jean began her career in Higher Education in 1982.Over the years, Jean has managed many Registry and Faculty-based administration teams, covering the student journey from Admissions to Graduation. Jean joined the Student Experience Team at the University of Derby in 2007 and began to explore service design to enhance the student journey. In 2015 Jean set up Go Process Design Ltd, and since then has worked with a wide range of UK universities. Jean has spoken at and led workshops on service design, process improvement and journey mapping at a variety of HE and other conferences, and is on a mission to bring human-centred research, service design and design thinking to the heart of the student and the staff experience.


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