Empathic Design in Occupational Therapy

Submitted by mary catherine lockmiller on June 12th, 2018
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Short Description: 

(Thanks to Amanda Meeks at Northern Arizona University for sharing her insight into her development of an avatar-based method for promoting empathy in classrooms and for allowing their use in other learning spaces, including clinical settings.)

Students learn about empathic design, and how they can leverage empathic design thinking to promote health information literacy. This assignment is designed primarily for occupational therapy students, but is applicable across allied health programs as well as in health policy and consumer health programs. For the back half of the lesson, students work in groups to apply design thinking for clients/patients who belong to a specific healthcare community (the communities listed are all local, so may need to be changed). They will then return for another class and learn how to create literacy-driven deliverables for those clients/patients.

Learning Outcomes: 

1. Learn how design thinking complements evidence-based practice for occupational therapists
2. Use empathic design thinking to develop a more expansive knowledge of potential clients’ situations

Individual or Group: 
Course Context (e.g. how it was implemented or integrated): 

This was implemented in a class for occupational therapy students about to begin field work. The course requirements include learning how to "market" healthcare information to clients and patients.

Suggested Citation: 
lockmiller, mary catherine. "Empathic Design in Occupational Therapy." CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments), 2018. https://www.projectcora.org/assignment/empathic-design-occupational-therapy.