Assessment Task 1: Design Challenge Background Research Report (Individual)

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You are required to undertake primary and secondary background research to better understand the nature of the Design Challenge (provided by the industry partner). You are NOT making recommendations, you are trying to better understand the nature of the problem. You must include a reference list, formatted according to the RMIT Harvard style (access the RMIT Easy cite below under the referencing guideline heading).

Design thinking is a problem-solving technique that works well when developing solutions to complex non-linear business problems. The design process starts with exploration. The first step is to gain an understanding of the nature of the problem by undertaking background research in great depth.

The purpose of this assignment is twofold:

Firstyou need to better understand the design challenge that has been set by our industry partner for this semester. You do this by researching what we already know. You will start by doing primary and secondary research. For primary research, you will be either conducting at least 3-5 (not less than three and can be more than 5) interviews or atleast capture qualitative comments from 8-10 respondents (more than 10 is always good) through a survey with your stakeholder’s representative of the customer market if possible or seek broader representation (e.g. general public) in order to get deeper picture around the design problem. For secondary research, you will be starting with google scholar (finding relevant peer-reviewed academic articles), library databases (finding industry articles, reports from IBIS Word, Marketline, etc. and all other industry documents) and then collect a set of relevant peer reviewed references which have examined the challenge and find out what we already know and the themes that are originating.  We are NOT looking for solutions at this stage.

Some questions that you may ask when doing secondary research to better understand is what is being reported in the literature could be:  i) Why is it a problem in the first place, what makes it a problem, ii) How did it become a problem, iii) Who does it effect, iv) What do we know (facts) about the nature of the problem, Remember you are reporting what is known already, you must not make recommendations on what needs to be done.

Second, you must demonstrate capability in preparing a formal academic secondary research report. This means you need to ensure that grammar, sentence structure, synthesis of information, coherence of explanation, and summation are at a level commensurate with a postgraduate MBA program.

Course learning outcomes

This assessment is relevant to the following course learning outcomes:

  • CLO1  - Analyse and discuss the significance of design thinking, and its manifestations and implications across organisational contexts.

Assessment Details  

Weighting: 30%

Length: 3,000 (+/-10%) words

This background research report is to be used by the design team to gain a broader view of the Industry Partner’s design challenge. It will also inform the reframing of the client’s problem.

The following structure is recommended for your report: Note: The facilitators for this course will choose the 5E framework, it is up to you which Design Thinking framework you will choose, the meaning of components are the same.

  • Cover page
  • Executive Summary
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
    • Introduction of the industry partner (with facts and references).
    • Statement of initial problem or issue.
    • Link to the body of how the problem will be solved-overview and connection to the body (next sections) of the report.
  • Engage/What is?/Discover (the component heading will differ based on the chosen Design Thinking Framework):
    • Secondary Research.
    • Primary Research. [Note: The tools covered within secondary and primary research will be discussed during the intensive classes, so it is very important that you attend the intensive classes and online tutorials as that will help you to understand how each tool is applied and extracted].
  • Evaluate/What is?/Discover (the component heading will differ based on the chosen Design Thinking Framework):
    • Affinity Map.
    • How might we statement (reframed research problem).
  • Conclusion
  • Reference list: formatted according the RMIT Harvard Style
  • Appendices (all tools output from Miro Board).

Referencing guidelines  

  • Use  RMIT Harvard Links to an external site.referencing style for this assessment.
  • You must acknowledge all the courses of information you have used in your assessments.
  • Refer to the  RMIT Easy Cite Links to an external site.referencing tool to see examples and tips on how to reference in the appropriated style. You can also refer to the library referencing page for more tools such as EndNote, referencing tutorials and referencing guides for printing.

Submission format  

  • This is an individual assessment task that accounts for 30% of your total grade.
  • Your written submission should not exceed 3,000 (+/-10%) words  and must be uploaded to Canvas prior to the deadline. Formatting Requirements:  needs to be formatted using Times New Roman font, size 11, with 1.5 line spacing.
  • You must include a correctly formatted Reference List which adheres to the  RMIT Harvard Style Links to an external site.of referencing. The reference list does not count toward the word count.
  • Please be aware that you will be submitting this assignment online to Turnitin, which will assist you in identifying possible issues of plagiarism within your submitted work. Please check this carefully. It is a serious academic offence to plagiarise and your course coordinator will scrutinise this carefully when marking you assignment. You should submit your paper prior to the deadline, review the originality report, make adjustments and if necessary upload again.
  • Any request for an extension to the deadline must be accompanied with documentary evidence (i.e. medical certificate) to support the request. A decision on any request for an extension is at the discretion of the Course Coordinator.
  • Late submissions will attract a penalty of 10% per day.

Academic integrity and plagiarism  

Academic integrity is about honest presentation of your academic work. It means acknowledging the work of others while developing your own insights, knowledge and ideas.

You should take extreme care that you have:

  • Acknowledged words, data, diagrams, models, frameworks and/or ideas of others you have quoted (i.e. directly copied), summarised, paraphrased, discussed or mentioned in your assessment through the appropriate referencing methods
  • Provided a reference list of the publication details so your reader can locate the source if necessary. This includes material taken from Internet sites

If you do not acknowledge the sources of your material, you may be accused of plagiarism because you have passed off the work and ideas of another person without appropriate referencing, as if they were your own.

RMIT University treats plagiarism as a very serious offence constituting misconduct.  Plagiarism covers a variety of inappropriate behaviours, including:

  • Failure to properly document a source.
  • Copyright material from the internet or databases.
  • Collusion between students.

For further information on our policies and procedures, please refer to the University website.

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