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BUS 90 — Diagnostic Inquiry: The Purpose and Power of Critical Questioning

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jun 28—Aug 23
Time: 5:00—7:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jun 30
Unit: 1
Tuition: $580
Instructor(s): Robert Hoekman
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on July 5
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
5:00—7:00 pm (PT)
Jun 28—Aug 23
8 weeks
Refund Date
Jun 30
1 Unit
Robert Hoekman
Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on July 5
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Within every opinion we form, decision we make, or problem we solve lies an opportunity to gain deeper understanding so we can react with clarity and intelligence. Far too often, though, we shortcut ourselves: We mistake incomplete information as the whole story, accept opinions without challenge, and embrace assumptions as solutions. How can we resist these defaults to forge smarter conclusions and more meaningful courses of action? Through questions. “Diagnostic inquiry” means asking critical questions—the who, what, when, where, why, and how—from a place of honest curiosity. It’s also the best way to turn resistance into collaboration and frustration into planning—whether you wish to devise a solid strategy or to manage your strategic projects.

In each class session, we will examine and practice diagnostic inquiry in a discrete phase of problem-solving: discovery, problem-definition, objective-definition, strategy, execution, analysis, and iteration. Within each, we will consider what questions to ask, why they matter, and how to make use of their answers. We will also look at factors pushing against our desire to achieve specific outcomes, including heuristics, beliefs, biases, values, and fears. Finally, we’ll explore strategies for turning diagnostic inquiry into a habit that rewards us with deeper understanding and more productive collaborations in both our professional and personal lives.

Innovation and User Experience Strategy Consultant

Robert Hoekman Jr. has two decades of experience consulting with startups and enterprises alike on critical thinking for digital product innovation. His clients have included Akamai, Rackspace, Adobe, and Peachpit. He is the author of Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web & Mobile Application Design and Experience Required: How to Become a UX Leader Regardless of Your Role.