The Design Sprint Approach

1 Design Sprint: A Method for Rapid Development and Fostering Innovation

The design sprint is originally a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping and testing ideas with customers developed by Google Ventures (GV), a so-called ‘venture capital arm’ of Google’s holding company ‘Alphabet’. The original sprint was invented by GV members John Zeratsky and Jake Knapp and focuses on creating (mostly digital) products and services for the consumer market. The ideas and principles however, can be applied to broader sectors. Since teachers create or adapt their course materials year after year as part of a reflective educational design practice (Schön, 1987), the design sprint concept can be applied to higher education as well. Learning materials are constantly evolving products designed by teachers and HE staff, often combined with input provided by the professional field. Applying design thinking and design sprints to course development has been successfully accomplished by universities such as Coventry University (‘CU SPRINT – Flipped Toolkit’, n.d.) and University of Warwick (Toro-Troconis, J-M, H, D, & S, 2016) in the U.K. and eCampus Ontario in Canada (2019).


The sprint gives teams a shortcut to learning without building and launching
(‘The Design Sprint—GV’, n.d.)


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