Skip to main content

Collaborative Design for Innovation Course Benefits Local Nonprofit

Print PagePrint Page


A new six-week dynamic MBA marketing class, “Collaborative Design for Innovation,” is underway at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. This course is held on Mondays and Wednesdays through February 19, 2015.

Students in this course are divided into four teams charged with designing a nutritional snack product to benefit the Share Our Strength organization’s No Kid Hungry Program. As the students develop the product’s design, they will need to take into consideration customer needs, the product’s features, and the organization’s philosophical characteristics.

During the first class, marketing professor Robert Thomas introduced the students to Share Our Strength Co-founder Debbie Shore, who presented the design challenge to them. Thomas is incorporating new learning technologies into the course, such as shared whiteboard spaces, 3D printing technology, and in-class experiential exercises. There also will be guest speakers from industry to share their own experiences about design and innovation. Class size was limited to a small number of students who expressed an interest in the philosophy and practice of design in a collaborative context.

“From a teaching perspective, this class has been very demanding and also one of the most enjoyable I have taught,” said Robert Thomas. “The students are so engaged in the design competition and greatly enjoy using the new collaboration software for the project.” 

The course is part of Georgetown University’s Initiative on Technology - Enhanced Learning (ITEL) grant program. The university’s ITEL grant program supports faculty grants to encourage creative approaches to course development and enhances existing information technology infrastructure to support higher network volume. Each grant allows for varying levels of support and technological approaches that are already in use or to turn face-to-face courses into courses that are totally online.