Effects of Design Thinking Interventions on Educational Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis


  • So Hee Yoon Hannam University, South Korea




Design Thinking; K-12 Education; Higher Education, Meta-Analysis


The purpose of this study is to investigate effects of Design Thinking interventions on educational outcomes through meta-analysis. Research questions are as follows. First, what is the overall effect size of Design Thinking interventions on educational outcomes? Second, what is the effect size of Design Thinking interventions according to categorical variables? The researcher selected 21 studies through a systematic literature review and extracted statistical information to allow calculation of the effect size. Comprehensive Meta-Analysis Version 2 was used to conduct the overall analysis and moderator analyses. Results are as follows. First, the effect of Design Thinking interventions was 0.469 standard deviations, which had a moderate effect size and was educationally significant. Second, in subject areas, the results ranked in the order of computer 0.573, STEAM 0.544, science 0.502, engineering 0.487, education 0.361, liberal arts 0.342, health sciences 0.267, and English 0.073. Third, in school level, the results ranked in the order of secondary school 0.654, elementary school 0.535, and college 0.345. Fourth, for grade level, the effect size of combined 0.449 was larger than that of single-grade 0.331. Fifth, in the publication year category, the effect sizes of 2018~2022 0.488, 2012~2017 0.169 were in order. Sixth, for sample size, the effect sizes of 1-30 0.492, more than 30 0.369 were in order. The researchers discussed the results and provided suggestions for educators and researchers to implement Design Thinking in the future.


Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. Macmillan.

Begg, C. B., & Mazumdar, M. (1994). Operating characteristics of a rank correlation test for publication bias. Biometrics, 1088-1101.

Bhandari, A. (2022). Design Thinking: from bibliometric analysis to content analysis, current research trends, and future research directions. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 1-56.

Brannon, M. E. (2022). Exploring the impact of design thinking on creativity in preservice teachers. Kent State University.

Cohen, J. (2013). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Routledge.

Cooper, H. (2015). Research synthesis and meta-analysis: A step-by-step approach (Vol. 2). SAGE publications, Inc.

Cooper, H. M. (1989). Integrating research: A guide for literature reviews. Sage Publications, Inc.

Curedale, R. (2013). Design thinking. Process and methods manual. Topanga: Design Community College Inc.

Gallagher, A., & Thordarson, K. (2018). Design thinking for school leaders: Five roles and mindsets that ignite positive change. ASCD.

Gleason, N. W. (2018). Higher education in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. Springer Nature.

Hedges, L. V., & Vevea, J. L. (1998). Fixed-and random-effects models in meta-analysis. Psychological Methods, 3(4), 486-504. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1037/1082-989X.3.4.486

Hess, F. M. (2017). Letters to a young education reformer. Harvard Education Press.

Higgins, J. P., Thomas, J., Chandler, J., Cumpston, M., Li, T., Page, M. J., & Welch, V. A. (2019). Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions. John Wiley & Sons.

Khoza, S. B. (2021). Can teachers' identities come to the rescue in the fourth industrial revolution? Technology Knowledge and Learning, 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10758-021-09560-z

Kim, J.-S. (2020). The effect of design thinking-based nursing learning program in students. The Society of Convergence Knowledge Transactions, 8(4), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.22716/sckt.2020.8.4.030

Kim, J., & Maloney, E. J. (2020). Learning innovation and the future of higher education. JHU Press.

Kim, M., & Lee, S. (2018). The effect of design thinking based coaching program on interpersonal problem-solving skills and sociality with first-and second-grade students. Korean Journal of Coaching Psychology, 2(2), 23-44.

Kim, S., & Koo, J. (2019). Effects of robotics education program based on the design thinking process on the creativity for engineering college students in the field of IT. Journal of Knowledge Information Technology and Systems, 14(2), 157-169. https://doi.org/10.34163/jkits.2019.14.2.006

Kim, S., Parks, B. S., & Beckerman, M. (1996). Effects of participatory learning programs in middle and high school civic education. The Social Studies, 87(4), 171-176.

Kim, S. M., Kim, J. K., Kim, S. H., & Maeng, J. H. (2018). Effect of design thinking-based STEAM program for primary and secondary students. Journal of Engineering Education Research, 21(2), 17-27.

Kuo, H.-C., Yang, Y.-T. C., Chen, J.-S., Hou, T.-W., & Ho, M.-T. (2021). The impact of design thinking PBL robot course on college students' learning motivation and creative thinking. IEEE Transactions on Education. https://doi.org/10.1109/te.2021.3098295

Lee, D. (2022). Design thinking in the classroom: Easy-to-use teaching tools to foster creativity, encourage innovation and unleash potential in every student. Simon and Schuster.

Lee, E.-H., & Tae, J.-M. (2017). The effect of STEAM program based on design thinking on primary school pupil's convergent problem solving & interest in math-science. Journal of Curriculum Integration, 11(1), 143-162.

Lee, M. (2017). A study on the effect of a design thinking-based course on enhancing university students' integrative competencies. The Korean Society of Science & Art, 28, 195-206. https://doi.org/10.17548/ksaf.2017.03.28.195

Lee, S.-J., & Yoon, O.-h. (2021). Effect of applied design thinking. Korean Journal of General Education, 15(4), 205-215.

Lee, S. (2020). Analyzing the effects of artificial intelligence (AI) education program based on design thinking process. The Journal of Korean Association of Computer Education, 23(4), 49-59.

McLaughlin, J. E., Wolcott, M. D., Hubbard, D., Umstead, K., & Rider, T. R. (2019). A qualitative review of the design thinking framework in health professions education. BMC Medical Education, 19(1), 1-8.

Meline, T. (2006). Selecting studies for systematic review: Inclusion and exclusion criteria. Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders, 33(1), 21-27. https://doi.org/10.1044/cicsd_33_S_21

Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., Altman, D. G., & Group*, P. (2009). Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. Annals of Internal Medicine, 151(4), 264-269. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2535

Naidoo, J., & Singh-Pillay, A. (2020). Teachers' perceptions of using the blended learning approach for stem-related subjects within the fourth industrial revolution. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 19(4), 583-593. https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/20.19.583

Nam, C. W., Choi, J. A., & Kim, J. K. (2019). The effects of flipped learning strategies on pre-service teachers’ collective self-esteem and attitude toward cooperative learning in design thinking learning environments. The Journal of Korean Teacher Education, 36(4), 101-124. https://doi.org/10.24211/tjkte.2019.36.4.101

Oishi, L. N. (2012). Enhancing career development agency in emerging adulthood: An intervention using design thinking Stanford University].

Piaget, J. (2000). Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Childhood Cognitive Development: The Essential Readings, 2, 33-47.

Rusmann, A., & Ejsing-Duun, S. (2022). When design thinking goes to school: A literature review of design competences for the K-12 level. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 32(4), 2063-2091.

Seo, Y., & Kim, J. (2017). The effect of SW education applying design thinking on creativity of elementary school pre-service teachers. Journal of The Korean Association of information Education, 21(3), 351-360.

Seo, Y., & Kim, J. (2018). The effects of SW education applying CSCL-based design thinking on creativity and problem solving skills of elementary school students. Journal of The Korean Association of information Education, 22(4), 427-438. https://doi.org/10.14352/jkaie.2018.22.4.427

Seong, G. (2019). The effects of problem-based activities with the design thinking process on teaching anxiety, resilience, and creative problem-solving competence of pre-service English teachers. The Journal of Foreign Studies, 47, 41-80.

Shin, Y., Jung, H., & Suh, E.-K. (2019). Effect of coding education program based on design thinking for non-engineering students. The Journal of Learner-Centered Curriculum and Instruction, 19(10), 351-373. https://doi.org/10.22251/jlcci.2019.19.10.351

Thi-Huyen, N., Xuan-Lam, P., & Tu, N. T. T. (2021). The impact of design thinking on problem solving and teamwork mindset in a flipped classroom. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 96(96), 30-50.

Wolf, F. M. (1986). Meta-analysis: Quantitative methods for research synthesis (Vol. 59). SAGE publications, Inc.

Won, Y., Bae, Y., Choi, Y., & Ahn, M. (2019). The effects of design thinking training on creativity competency for college. Journal of Educational Technology, 35(2), 193-226. https://doi.org/10.17232/kset.35.2.193

World Economic Forum. (2015). Deep shift: technology tipping points and societal impact [Survey Report]. https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GAC15_Technological_Tipping_Points_report_2015.pdf

Yoo, J. (2018). The effects of medical service design thinking on preliminary health administrators' empathy ability. Journal of Digital Convergence, 16(10), 367-377. https://doi.org/10.14400/jdc.2018.16.10.367

Yoo, J. (2017). The effects of convergence design thinking on preliminary health administrators' social problem solving competency: Intrapreneurship integrated curriculum. Journal of Digital Convergence, 15(11), 271-283. https://doi.org/10.14400/jdc.2017.15.11.271

Yoo, J. (2020). The effect of medical service design thinking teaching-learning on empathic problem solving ability: Convergence analysis of structured and unstructured. Journal of Digital Convergence, 18(6), 311-321. https://doi.org/10.14400/jdc.2020.18.6.311




How to Cite

Yoon, S. H. (2023). Effects of Design Thinking Interventions on Educational Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. Canadian Journal of Educational and Social Studies, 3(1), 66–83. https://doi.org/10.53103/cjess.v3i1.108