Terence invited Jason to collaborate on creating a course on UX for students studying interaction design in the multimedia course at the University of Johannesburg around 2008 / 9. They’ve been teaching this course since then in various forms.
In the second year of teaching, with an interest in challenging students to solve problems that were to be understood in their social contexts, it became clear that assuming the solution would take a digital form was problematic. What we needed to do was teach them how to solve problems in general. This posed problems at an institutional level (we were teaching in a multimedia course) and at a content level (we needed to teach design thinking before making).
Since arriving at this point our research has been focused on exploring how tools to be found in the fields of UX (principally information architecture design) can be applied to design thinking and indeterminate problems. We have radically re-written our course with an emphasis on design thinking in general, human-centered design and information architecture (reframed as a tool for transdisciplinary research and cognitive synthesis). In our practical projects with students we emphasise critical, synthetic thinking above assumptive solutions with a focus on the end artifact (for example a website, an app, etc).
So far so good. Our personal thinking in this area focuses on the dynamic between theory, design and teaching and this forms a golden thread through all our work. Take a look at some of our research papers to get a sense of this.