June 17-19, 2024
Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) Bldg. C, Department of Education Complex,
Meralco Avenue, Pasig City, Metro Manila, 1600 Philippines
Customized Program
Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) and
Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco


A quality TVET graduate is described as someone who not only has excellent knowledge and skills in his/her area of expertise, but also has good interpersonal skills which would enable the person to collaborate with industry players and community (Noreen, 2016). In a fast-changing employment landscape with the onset of Industrial Revolution 4, graduates need to be well -prepared to take up the challenges presented fluidly. Graduates need to adapt their skills and competencies to be better equipped to face the uncertain future.

A teaching approach that initiates 21st Century skills-building will definitely provide a head start for any TVET graduate. Thus, Design Thinking (DT) is the way forward for the future TVET graduates in order to develop graduates’ collaborative, creativity, problem-solving and empathy skills, to name a few.

DT is generally defined as a creative and analytical process whereby an individual is given an opportunity to create, to try and produce prototype models, and to produce feedbacks and iterate based on the given feedback. (R. Razzouk and V. Shute, 2012.).

DT provides a robust and adaptive approach for directing individuals and influencing their creativity in dealing with practical problems. To ensure that trainers, student project supervisors, lecturers and teachers are able to practice DT effectively, they need to be conditioned to have an appropriate DT mindset to carry it out with their respective students. DT is currently accepted in the industry, and gaining tremendous interest in the education field. (W. Brenner, F. Uebernickel, and T. Abrell, 2016).

Hence, through this course, it is hoped that trainers, student project supervisors, lecturers and teachers’ competencies and knowledge are built effectively, which in return would assist in developing and equipping TVET graduates to be a force in their workplaces.


At the end of the program, the participants will be able to:

  1. Be exposed to the 5-step process of Design Thinking;
  2. Experience carrying out the 5-steps of Design Thinking;
  3. Gain knowledge, skills and competencies to develop creative and innovative student projects;
  4. Be more adaptive in solving real world issues; and
  5. Be equipped with skills to communicate and cooperate effectively.

Expected Outcomes and Outputs

The program focuses on the 5 steps of a Design Thinking process. By participating in this program, participants will be exposed to a creative problem-solving strategy to address issues/ challenges that are prevalent in their institutions, communities or industries. Participants will acquire tools, resources and skills to work in teams to understand target user needs, generate innovative ideas, and create plausible solutions. The outcome of this program can be adapted to different contexts and situations.

Expected Outputs:

  1. Participants identify a challenge/issue by interviewing respondents/ target users
  2. Participants use 5 step- Design Thinking process to solve the challenge /issue
  3. Participants produce a prototype or solution by working in teams
  4. Participants present their prototype in a pitching session

Instructional Strategies

To facilitate productive and interactive learning, the following instructional strategies will be utilized to effectively train the participants:

  1. Lecture sessions
  2. Group and/or individual tasks
  3. Workshops and exercises
  4. Experience Sharing
  5. Use of OnCOURSE Learning Management System

Participants' Profile

The program is specifically designed for twenty one (21) teaching & non-teaching staff from 5 TVET Centers of the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco in the Philippines.

Date and Venue

The program will be conducted at Colombo Plan Staff College in Pasig City. The proposed date is June 17-19, 2024.

Program Management and Resource Persons

Program Supervisor Prof. G. L. D. Wickramasinghe ([email protected]) is the first Sri Lankan and the 12th Director General of CPSC. He is also the concurrent President of Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC).

Prior to his appointment as the Director General, he was a professor at the Department of Textile and Clothing Technology, University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka since 2015. Here also held key administrative posts during his career: as a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Vocational Technology (2016-2019), former Chairman of the Centre for Open and Distance Learning (CODL) of the University of Moratuwa (2015-2016), and former head of the Department of Textile and Clothing Technology (2009-2012).

He also served as the Chairman of Alethea International School (2017-2021), an independent non-executive Director of Orit Apparels Lanka Ltd. (2014-2016), and Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel (2010-2015). He also served as the Director of Technical and Quality Assurance of Brandix Textiles Ltd (2013-2014). He also served as chairman and member of various public sector strategic and technical committees.

He also published over 60 research publications on topics related to textile engineering and educational management, of which over 30 are international refereed journal publications.

He was honored with 18 national and international awards including Emerald Literary Award (2018), President's Award for Scientific Publications (2017), and NRC Merit Award for Scientific Publication (2016, 2011). The World Education Congress also honored him with the award for Outstanding Contribution to Education in “Sri Lanka Education Leadership Awards” in 2018.

Prof. Wickramasinghe is a graduate of a Bachelor of Science in Textile Engineering from the University of Moratuwa in 1993 by which he obtained first class honors. He finished his PhD at the University of Manchester in 2003. He also obtained a PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching, the University of Arts London, UK in 2006 and an MBA in the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka in 2008.

Program Coordinator Dr. Kesavan Ulaganathen ([email protected]) is the current Governing Board- Engaged Faculty Consultant in the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC). His academic expertise is on optical communication, industrial engineering and instrumentation, satellite communication, wireless communication, computer aided design for electronic design, semiconductor technology, digital communication, RF and Microwave technology.

He obtained his Ph.D. in Wireless Communication at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in 2014, and his Master of Engineering degree in Electrical, Electronic and Telecommunication in 2005 in the same university. He has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Electronics and Telecommunication) degree from the College University Institute of Tun Hussein Onn (KUITTHO), currently known as UTHM - Malaysia where he also obtained a post- graduate Diploma in Education in 1999. He also has a Certificate and Diploma in Electrical and Telecommunication Engineering from Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Polytechnic in Pahang, Malaysia.

He has an extensive teaching experience in higher technical education working as a lecturer at Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Polytechnic (POLISAS), Kuantan, Pahang from 1999- 2003; and as lecturer plus training officer at Sultan Azlan Shah Polytechnic (PSAS), Tanjung Malim, Perak from 2005- 2008. He was appointed as Senior Lecturer at Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Polytechnic (POLISAS) from 2009-2016.

He was posted as Head of Department for Mathematical, Science and Computer at Polytechnic Sandakan Sabah, at East Malaysia at Borneo Island from 2017-2021.His last position was as Principal Lecturer in Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Polytechnic (POLISAS), Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia. Dr. Kesavan has been in charge and has successfully facilitated relevant human resource management areas such as Job Analysis, Recruitment and selection, Training and Development, Compensation matters, Motivation and Reward, Engagement and Employee relationship and Employee Health and Safety.

Resource Person Dr. Prasanna Kesavan ([email protected])is one of the Master Trainers for Design Thinking and Conceive-Design –Innovate –Operate (CDIO) in Malaysian polytechnics, having been trained by the Temasek Foundation, Singapore.

In the year 2016, while heading the Centre of Technology in her institution, she carried out an interdisciplinary project involving courses from 3 different disciplines. This project was carried out by utilizing the Conceive-Design –Innovate –Operate standards of Active Experiential learning and Integrated learning experience to rebrand Small Medium Enterprises products and services. This interdisciplinary project later won the Innovative Curriculum Design Award in 2018.

In 2018, she presented in CDIO Asian Regional meeting in Da Nang Vietnam. Based on that presentation, Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan, the institution that she was attached to, was accepted as a member of Worldwide CDIO Initiative Collaborators. She has presented as well as trained participants in numerous platforms advocating Design Thinking as a viable approach to be used in Teaching and Learning. In October 2019, she conducted Design Thinking training program for Indonesian students under the Integrated Sociopreneur Innovation Project.

In April 2023, she carried out training to Community College lecturers in Malaysia on how to embed Design Thinking in their Teaching and Learning method. She trained and facilitated those who were involved in the Social Innovation Project competition among Polytechnic lecturers in November 2023.

Dr. Prasanna graduated with a PhD in Teaching of English as a Second Language. Her Bachelor’s degree was on English Studies, while her Master’s degree focused on Testing and Evaluation in Education. Prasanna was a senior lecturer in Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan, Malaysia and has more than 30 years of teaching experience, both in secondary schools and tertiary institutions. She has also supervised Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students in this field.

Resource Person Dr. Noreen Kamarudin ([email protected]) is a Principal Lecturer at the Centre of Research & Innovation (CRI), Politeknik Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (PSA), Malaysia.

Her involvement in Design Thinking was through social innovation initiatives with local and international collaborators, while serving as Deputy Director in charge of Curriculum Evaluation & Innovation in the Department of Polytechnic & Community College Education (DPCCE), Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia (MoHE), from 2014 until 2023.

From 2014 to 2015, she worked with Singapore Polytechnic (SP) & Temasek Foundation (TF), to train 200 Malaysian polytechnic lecturers on the renowned engineering education framework: Conceive Design Implement Operate (CDIO). The impact: two Malaysian polytechnics, Politeknik Ungku Omar (PUO), and Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan (PIS) went on to become members of the prestigious CDIO Member Institution network in 2017 and 2018, joining the ranks of MIT and Stanford.

In recognition of her contributions to promote Design Thinking among polytechnic lecturers and students, Dr. Noreen was awarded the Design Thinking Advocate Award by the Design Thinking Association of Malaysia (DTAM) in 2018. Due to her skills and experience, Dr Noreen has been appointed as jury for local and international social innovation/service-learning competitions and regularly invited to speak and train on topics such as Design Thinking, Social Innovation, Service Learning. Outcome-based Education (OBE), and CDIO. She has also published book chapters and journal articles on these topics.

Dr. Noreen graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) in 1994. She received her Master of Education from University of Malaya (UM) in 2007. In 2015, she obtained dual certifications; a Postgraduate Diploma in Research Methods and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.

Resource Person Dr. Nor Haniza Mohamad ([email protected]) currently serves as the Chairperson of Teaching and Learning Committee at Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan in Johor, Malaysia, as well as the Deputy Chairperson for the Malaysian Technical Doctorate Association, an organization dedicated to TVET doctorates.

As the Chairperson of Teaching and Learning Committee, she is responsible for overseeing innovative teaching approaches, utilizing Outcome-Based Education (OBE), CDIO, and design thinking methodologies. Her efforts are pivotal in shaping the educational strategies and enhancing the learning experiences for students.

Dr. Niza is a distinguished expert in community-based tourism development, with an expanding passion for design thinking. Her extensive career includes notable accomplishments in education, curriculum development, and innovative teaching methodologies across Malaysia and Indonesia.

From 2018 to 2021, Dr. Niza served as the Deputy Director (Academic) at Politeknik Port Dickson. During her tenure, she strategically implemented design thinking and Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate (CDIO) innovative approaches throughout several departments. These initiatives significantly enhanced the institution’s academic framework and fostered a culture of creativity and innovation among students and staff.

In 2021, Dr. Niza was appointed the Director of Politeknik Tawau Sabah, Malaysia. There, she successfully integrated design thinking into the final year projects, transforming the academic experience and better preparing students for real-world challenges. Her leadership was instrumental in driving the institution towards academic excellence and practical skill development.

Dr. Niza is a graduate of the University of New York, USA, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management in 1992. She completed both her Master’s degree in Tourism Planning and her Ph.D. in Tourism Management at the University of Technology Malaysia.

Program Schedule