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COVID-19: The Ultimate Design Thinking Use Case in Global Trends in Business

COVID-19 Updates: Global Trends in Business Essay Assignment Questions and Answers

Essay Assessment Details:

  • Topic: Individual Essay (Practical & Reflective)
  • Document Type: Essay writing (any type)
  • Number of Words: 2000
  • Citation/Referencing Style: Harvard


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1. Instructions

The following chapters will look at the instructions for this assessment. Note some of the hints and tips throughout.

1.1. Description and Purpose

Success amid salient global trends in business and society has emphasised the need to develop various skill sets. One of these skills is that of design thinking. Design thinking is a crucial user-centric approach, aiming to produce effective solutions that meet social and business needs.

The purpose of this task is to use design thinking processes and its application to impacts and outcomes of COVID-19 as well as reflect on the process of using design thinking as you move forward with your careers. Students must consider their learning experience, and the successful (or unsuccessful) application of design thinking to overcome the challenges of COVID-19.

This reflection should demonstrate understanding of key concepts and consider the effectiveness of application to one of the two scenarios outlined in the next chapter. In addition, students should reflect upon how these skills may apply to their future career and include critical self-analysis of the personal development connected to their own strengths and weaknesses.

1.2. Scenarios

Scenario 1: 

COVID-19 has again stopped most professional sports globally. This means that fans are unable to watch their favourite team on television or attend matches. This presents a big problem to professional sport teams as they rely on this to generate much needed revenue and to develop long-lasting relationships with fans. Given this major issue, you have been hired as consultant by Manchester United to provide solutions to help them deal with this. Using design thinking theory and application, demonstrate how Manchester United can appropriately deal with this issue and ensure that the relationship between themselves and fans is not overly impacted by COVID-19?

Scenario 2: 

The impact of COVID-19 on charities has been staggering. Not only are charities unable to service the clients that need their help, but the impact of COVID-19 on discretionary income has meant that donations have also been dramatically reduced. Solving these two issues are pertinent to charities so they can survive and service those in need. Given the above, Homelessness Australia, the national peak body for homelessness in Australia has asked you to provide some ideas to help overcome one or both of these issues (i.e. lack of client service and/or decrease in donations). Using design thinking principles, provide various options for Homelessness Australia to ensure they can maintain their service offerings to those in need.

Hint: Select the scenario that mostly aligns with your interests and/or career choice

1.3. Steps

Step 1: Select one of two scenarios to address

Step 2: Discuss and apply design thinking principles to the problem(s)

Step 3: Reflect on the process of using design thinking and how you will take these principles with you into the workforce


Steps 2 & 3 will be discussed in more detail in the next chapters

1.4. Step 2 – Design Thinking

Design Thinking Recap

Design Thinking is a method used to solve problems, mostly through innovative solutions. Used to (to name a few):

  • Create new products/services
  • Design innovative systems
  • Benefit society

You can read more about Design thinking from last week

Design Thinking Model

We covered 4 models of Design Thinking in topic 9 with a focus on the Stanford Model. This is because the Stanford Model will form the theoretical base of your essay:


Design Thinking Discussion and Application

Given Design Thinking, and specifically, the Standford Model form your theoretical base, you need to decide how you want to present this:

  • Option 1: Discussion of all five steps and then application
  • Option 2: Discussion and application of each step sequentially

This is up to you, but what is important is the theoretical discussion setting the framework and then the application.

Hint: Most of your required references (5 high-level business and academic sources) are likely to go in this space. Some dedicated to the Design Thinking discussion and others to support for your application.

Important Information

We would like to see a clear depiction/consideration of the design challenge through customer empathy, detailed identification of a typical consumer who experiences this design challenge, and the touchpoints involved in this relationship. After these things have been highlighted THEN we move to ideation where solutions are brainstormed and detailed.

1.5. Step 3 – Reflection

Take a Moment to Reflect

To further your Design Thinking knowledge and your problem-solving ability, this portion of your essay is concerned with reflection of the Design Thinking process:

“Reflect on the process of using Design Thinking to develop ideas and discuss how design thinking may assist with YOUR career and why.”

Hint: All the career-focused tasks provided throughout this subject until now has been building to this. At this point, you should have greater insight into your career skills and noted these down for easy reference to this section of your essay. 


How to Reflect

Reflection, whilst on paper seems easier, it still requires some intricate thought. Let’s look at some of the key ways in which you reflect:

Reflection Can Include

  • Your perceptions of the Design Thinking content
  • Experiences, ideas and observations you have had
  • What you found confusing, inspiring, difficult, interesting and why
  • Questions you have and conclusions you have drawn
  • What you need to explore next in terms of thoughts and actions
  • Your response to experiences, opinions, events or new information (e.g. Design Thinking to solve problems)
  • Your response to thoughts and feelings (e.g. How do you view Design Thinking as a problem-solving tool…how does that make you feel? If you don’t see the value, mention this)
  • Comparisons and connections between what you are learning, this includes: your prior knowledge and experience; your prior assumptions and preconceptions; what you know from other courses, units or disciplines

Hint: Whilst you can cover the above options, we suggest focusing your discussion on a few given the limited words. Choose what is most relevant and IMPACTFUL for you.

What Reflection is NOT

  • A summary of unit material (i.e. don’t summarise what Design Thinking is)
  • A discussion of a solution to a problem (you do this is the first part of the body)
  • Simply conveying information

How to Write in a Reflective Way

  • Use full sentences and complete paragraphs…can also use sub-headings
  • You can usually use personal pronouns like ‘I’, ‘my’ or ‘we’
  • Keep it professional (e.g. avoid vagueness and expressions)
  • A reflective task may allow you to use different modes of writing and language, this includes descriptive (outlining how something is or how something was done), explanatory (explaining why or how it is like that), expressive (I think, I feel, I believe)

Final Tips

Hint: Commonly, structure is the biggest issue with reflection. Without structure, you can go around in circles, often repeating yourself. Have a clear structure of what you want to say. Start with sub-headings and take it from there. 

Based on the above hint, you may have a structure that looks like this (this is merely a suggestion, structure it to suit your needs):

  • A brief description of how you used Design Thinking to solve a real-world business problem
    • Experiences, ideas and observations you had along the way
  • Thoughts and feelings concerned with Design Thinking
    • What you found confusing, inspiring, difficult, interesting and why
    • Your response to these thoughts and feelings
  • How you feel Design Thinking may enhance your career and why so (if you don’t feel it will, that’s fine, simply say why and perhaps offer an alternate model that is more suited to you. Justify this decision)
    • What is your projected career
    • How you envision Design Thinking fitting in with this
    • What you need to explore next in terms of thoughts and actions

1.6. Essay Structure

Whilst we mention in the previous chapter that your reflection needs structure, so does your overall essay.

Side-Note Hint: The best way to think about structure is at three levels:

  • Overall structure of essay (what we discuss in this chapter)
  • Paragraph structure (the point(s) you want to make in each paragraph – generally follow the new point, new paragraph rule)
  • Sentence structure (how you want to get your point across in the most concise way without sacrificing the substance of your point)

Overall Essay Structure

  1. Cover page (student name and number)
  2. Introduction (background to problem, scope of essay)
  3. Body (design thinking discussion and application, reflection)
  4. Conclusion (a summary of key points)
  5. References

Introduction (~250 words)

  • This is where you provide a summary of the problem. Using statistics or something anecdotal is always a good way to get your point across and engage the reader early
  • The scope of the essay should tell the reader what to expect in the essay (usually a couple sentences):
    • Example from journal article – not an essay but can follow same formula:

The structure of this article is as follows. First, previous work on unaided recall and CSR awareness is reviewed. This is followed by the proposed hypotheses to inform what might influence CSR awareness levels among fans. The findings are then presented leading to a discussion on academic and managerial implications, and limitations and future research.

Body (~1,500 words: ~1,000 Design Thinking; ~500 Reflection)

  • This is the most critical part of your essay. It is where you provide your discussion on design thinking leading to the ideation of your solutions
  • Reflection

Conclusion (~500 words)

  • This is the summary of your findings and also your career reflection

2.  Marking Rubric

Marking Rubric

3.  Discussion Activity


Post your thoughts on the following forum:

  • Topic 10 Discussion Forum

4.  Additional resources


Sports Team Scenario

  • Components and outcomes of fan engagement in team sports
  • Some possible engagement strategies
  • More possible engagement strategies

Charity Scenario

  • Elements, causes and effects of donor engagement
  • Some possible strategies for engaging donors
  • More possible strategies for engaging donors AND CLIENTS



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