Teaching about/through/with Human-Centered Design | TTLL Season 1, Episode 7

Aug 30, 2022, 09:05 AM

About the guests 

Dawn Bohn is a Teaching Associate Professor and Director of the Online Masters of Science in Food Science program in the Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. 


Watch the Art of Teaching: Lunchtime Seminar Series’ May 6, 2021 Faculty Panel Presentation, “An Exploration of Multi-Modal Assignments,” featuring Bohn and other Illinois instructors. 


Saab Shehad is Head of Assessment and Research at the Siebel Center for Design at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 


Watch Shehab’s Sept. 2, 2021 Art of Teaching: Lunchtime Seminar Series presentation, “Pedagogy and Assessment of Human Centered Design.” 


Jim Wentworth is the Associate Director of Instructional Spaces and Technologies at CITL. 


Episode resources 

Learn more about the Seibel Center for Design



In this episode, guests Dawn Bohn (Food Science & Human Nutrition), Saab Shehad (Seibel Center for Design), and Jim Wentworth (CITL) join host Bob Dignan to talk about Human-Centered Design or HCD. 


A cornerstone of the Seibel Center for Design’s mission, Shehad described HCD as “a problem-solving approach that tries first to identify the unmet need of a certain population. Once this unmet need is identified, we partner with those people … to arrive at a solution. 


“This is not easy and usually takes time,” he continues, adding the process takes lots of empathy for the user and iterations to arrive at a solution, but it’s well worth it. “Research shows us that whenever human-centered design is used, your chances of arriving to an innovative or creative or … genuine solution to a problem are way higher.” 


Shehab and Bohn have been collaborating to embed HCD in various food science courses, including Bohn’s capstone course, Food Product Development. 


Bohn goes on to describe the course—which requires students to work in small groups to research, design, and develop a new food project—and the various steps that are involved. 


Listen to the full discussion to learn about the many layers of HDC from Bohn using this novel approach in her classroom to build deeper connections with her students and build better courses for her students using it to develop their products to endless other applications. 


Did you enjoy this episode, or do you have a story to share about your experience with Human-Centered Design or another teaching topic? Drop us a note at


This podcast was produced by the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at the University of Illinois. Episodes can be found on our website,, and major podcast platforms. We hope you’ll find us there and join the conversation!