HEGES-Teaching Human-Centered Design to Kenyan Computer Science Students

Digital technologies are transforming Kenya, but few Kenyan-born software developers play a significant role in building these technologies. Kenyans should be developing technical solutions to their country’s problems. One way to achieve this is by providing these students with the skills needed to design digital solutions that respond to local people’s needs. However, universities’ computer science programs tend to prioritize developing students’ technical skills over human-centered design approaches. This creative, interdisciplinary, and iterative process places humans at the center of technology development and increasingly develops innovative technologies. I have developed and implemented a short course that introduces Kenyan students to human-centered design to address this problem. I discuss my experiences teaching this course. My observations suggest that the course encourages students to collaborate with students from other disciplines to imagine novel technical solutions to their everyday problems. This Lightning Talk features:
– Susan Wyche, Associate Professor, Michigan State University