In September, we launched four courses in Sandbox that will be taking place in the autumn semester 2020/2021. We are excited to see the growth of the Sandbox community and the development of the programme as well. Before the registrations for the courses started, we created this interactive diagram to help prospective students decide which courses to take based on the level of their knowledge. In total, we have attracted around 65 students to the four courses running this semester.

As a brief introduction to design thinking, we started the semester with Digital Product Design Introductory Project. The project is a crash course into the concepts and methods of design thinking, and it runs only for four sessions over a two-week period. In these four sessions, the students get familiar with the methodology and solve a given problem with different design thinking and product management tools and techniques. At the end of the course, the teams present their solution to the problem based on the results of their brainstorming, ideating, prototyping, and testing activities. 

During Digital Product Management Seminar’s biweekly sessions over the semester, the students engage in fruitful discussions of the topics of digital product management based on the presentations they make. The idea of the course is to give the students an opportunity to dive deeply into digital product management related topics themselves, at the same time sharing insights with the fellow students. In September, we have covered the topic of Digital Marketing through six student presentations. Later during the semester, we will talk about Digitalisation, Product Strategy, and the Role of a Product Manager.

For students who already have some knowledge about design thinking and digital product management, we offer two semester-long project-based courses. Digital Product Management Industry Project is a course, where student teams, going through the design thinking cycle, are solving real-life problems presented by partner companies. This semester, we have four student teams working on the projects proposed by four partners: Tartu City Hall, Graspic, Mobilab, and UT Delta.

Another exciting project-based course that is running in Sandbox this semester is Global Digital Innovation Project (GDIP). GDIP is a collaboration between Sandbox and, a design factory from the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences and this is the second time we run this course together. This semester, three international and interdisciplinary teams of students are working on the real-life challenges from partner companies, such as Tartu City Hall from the Estonian side, and Hartmann and AfB from the German side. 

All Sandbox courses are currently available in hybrid teaching mode, meaning that the students can attend the classes in person or online through livestream. For GDIP, every week we also connect virtually with our German team members. Online learning opportunities help us ensure that everyone who is interested in learning more about design thinking and digital product management can do so.

We cannot wait to see the results of the hard work of all our students at the end of the semester during their project presentations. We do not know what exactly the outcomes will be, but we know for sure that it will be thrilling!