Are you a design educator? Do you work in Higher Education? I am excited to share with you a recent publication, based on some research conducted with my colleagues from UC in a first-year Design and Architecture Studio. The study incorporated a blended learning component using various functions of an LMS, in combination with hand-held devices, to engage students is design thinking, without explicitly teaching theories underpinning the design process they were undertaking.
The project examined the question; how do learning technologies support students engaging in the design process? The aim of the research was to provide evidence of students’ engagement with online information and feedback in a design studio.
The value of the research to design educators is that a curriculum designed around a creative thinking approach, such as the one we have used, does help students to better understand and adopt a creative process in learning about design. By consciously incorporating learning technologies into the learning process for students, they can achieve positive outcomes that enhance more conventional forms of face to face verbal feedback.
At the University of Canberra, Australia, the design and architecture faculty are trialling a range of approaches to incorporating learning technologies in the first-year foundation studio to improve student learning outcomes. For this study, researchers collected information on students’ access to their assignment information and feedback from the learning management system (LMS) to discover how the students engaged in the design process.
The studio curriculum was designed to encourage students to engage in a convergence, divergence dynamic (Brown, 2009; Thomas, Billsberry, Ambrosini, & Barton, 2014) in developing their own understanding of the design process. The staff tailored around points of convergence, online instruction, assessment tools and feedback in studio. We argue that using learning technologies in this way can improve intentionality at the beginning of semester, enhance students understanding of feedback and facilitate a more iterative approach to problem based learning in studio practice.
Published in the Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education
Authors: Andrew MacKenzie, Milica Muminovic, Karin Oerlemans
(24 references included)