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Applied Learning Programme

Fostering Innovation through Design Thinking

ALP Outcomes

  1. Students apply knowledge learnt across subject disciplines to innovate and create value
  2. Students are exposed to application of critical and inventive thinking through authentic experiences
  3. Students apply Design Thinking principles to solve problems
  4. Students understand innovation and entrepreneurship as value creation

Partnership with Relevant Industries

  • Food and Beverage, Product Design, Social Enterprise

ALP Framework



1.    Discovery - Ideate and discover possibilities


2.    Application – Apply Design Thinking to meet real needs and solve problems


3.    Innovate– Innovate and embark on innovation projects


4.    Dream – Learn from local entrepreneurs who pursue their dreams and to define their own dream to improve people’s lives

Mission: To develop innovative individuals with skills and attitude to impact the society positively.

Stages of Development


Stage 1: Ideate

Students learn about concepts such as product design and value creation. They apply brainstorming and ideation techniques to innovate.

Stage 2: Apply Design Thinking

Students apply Design Thinking Process (DT), which consists of these steps: Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test. Opportunities are provided for students to gather information from users and analyse their needs. Students take the extra step in consulting (Empathise) and confirming with users what those needs are (Define). Then they proceed to brainstorm and apply ideation techniques to come up with possible solutions (Ideate). They do a prototype (Prototype) and check with users if this prototype is able to meet their identified needs. After users have experience with the product or service, their feedback is sought (Test).


Stage 3: Innovation

Students embark on innovation projects to apply what they have learnt through Design Thinking. These are carried out through school projects and external competitions.


Stage 4: Dream

Students connect design innovation with entrepreneurship. They learn from local entrepreneurs how a business is grown from the idea of value creation and how it benefits groups of people in our community. These are carried out through talks, learning journeys and short attachments or authentic learning experiences. Students are encouraged to reflect on their ALP journey and start looking for problems to solve and where to contribute. They make their own choices and follow their interests and passions, using their strengths and applying Design Thinking to create value.

Fostering Innovation through Design Thinking

3N3 Empathy Exercise

Students were blindfolded to experience the difficulties faced by persons who are visually impaired -perspective taking of the user. They posted their thoughts and questions on an online platform (Padlet), making their thinking visible. The empathy exercise (through role-play) would allow the students tobetter understand the needs of the user before they start to design a solution.

Questions and thoughts posed by students

How do they know how to get to work or school?

Do people who are both blind and deaf know how to communicate?

  • Probably not?
  • They would need a guardian or a helper to help them 24/7?

How do they navigate and find their way through crowded places?

  • They can use a stick.

How do they do simple things like shower or eat?

What if the person was born both blind and deaf, and has no family members?

Nat points to the place when Nadia can’t see (Interesting learning point)