Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences

Advisor 1

Elizabeth Veinott

Committee Member 1

Erich Petushek

Committee Member 2

Mary Raber


Innovation is a 21st-century skill needed to design new systems, solve challenging problems, and develop novel solutions. Design Thinking (DT) is a tool used to support team innovation. In this experiment, 145 students (47 teams) used one of two DT methods during a semester-long project to come up with an innovative solution to one of the UNESCO 17 sustainable development goals. The key experimental manipulation was during the DT Ideate phase where teams brainstormed potential solutions. Teams either used a baseline DT Ideate strategy or an expanded one with additional prompts during a 10-minute period. Results indicated that teams using the expanded DT Ideate strategy generated 57% more solutions than those in the baseline DT condition. The solutions were content analyzed for innovativeness and the final proposed solutions were rated by other teams. Implications for implementing design thinking are discussed.