The Power of Design Thinking: Exploring Creative Confidence and Creative Efficacy in College Students




This mixed-methods study explored the benefits of the Design Thinking course to college students preparing for careers in the nonprofit sector. It examined whether the Design Thinking method could enhance college students’ creative confidence and creative efficacy and sought to identify additional benefits of mastering this approach. Thirty-eight students from various departments, schools, and colleges at a Southeastern University who took a semester-long class in Design Thinking participated in this study. After taking this course, students showed increased creative confidence and creative efficacy. Qualitative analysis of students’ reflection journals revealed additional benefits of the Design Thinking process: transferability of Design Thinking knowledge and skills to other classes and areas of work and life; teamwork; personal transformation and challenging assumptions; newly developed appreciation of human-centeredness in program design; and openness to risk-taking and failure. This study highlights numerous benefits of using the Design Thinking method in a classroom setting and provides practice implications for educators.