The Curriculum Innovation Canvas: A Design Thinking Framework for the Engaged Educational Entrepreneur

Chelsea Willness, Vincent Bruni-Bossio


Integrating literature on entrepreneurial business models and community-based experiential learning, we propose a new framework to advance the practice of curriculum innovation. Grounded in principles of design thinking, the curriculum innovation canvas provides a human-centered, collaborative, and holistic platform for instructors, curriculum developers, and administrators to engage in innovation and implementation of experiential courses or programs—particularly those that involve community or organizational partnerships. The canvas promotes a creative and fluid approach to curriculum development. It prompts the consideration of the value propositions offered to various stakeholders (students, community partners, faculty peers, etc.) as well as how to involve stakeholders in the development and implementation process toward mutually beneficial outcomes in a complex and challenging environment. Evidence from an extensive prototyping process indicates that it can effectively assist instructors, administrators, students, and community partners in a variety of contexts.

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