Embedding literacy skills in design curriculum

Erik Bohemia, Helen Farrell, Clare Power, Celeste Salter

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper discusses a collaborative curriculum development process undertaken by a cross-disciplinary team comprising of academic staff from Industrial Design Engineering and the Learning Skills Unit (LSU). The collaboration has led firstly to the development and implementation of an innovative Academic Literacy Skills Resource Book. Secondly, Academic Literacy Skills were incorporated into the Design and Engineering curriculum offered by the School of Engineering at one Australian university. The collaboration started in 2003 and continues into 2007. The Industrial Design academics mapped and prioritised the graduate attributes and skills that students need across their university career and identified the most appropriate subjects in which to locate these skills. They identified the need to develop a comprehensive academic skills experience for their students as well as the academic skills required for successful completion of each subject and the major final year project. Perhaps one of the more significant aspects of this collaboration with the LSU was the embedding of academic skills within the discipline rather than being taught as generic skills the students then need to transfer to specific subjects. In 2004, the academics from the LSU and Industrial Design jointly piloted the program with a first year core subject delivered within the Industrial Design and Design & Technology courses. In 2005 and 2006, the relationship between LSU and Engineering and Industrial Design academics was further developed. This collaboration led to the development of a first year core subject Engineering and Industrial Design Practice (EIDP) with a comprehensive academic skills resource book, integrated guest lectures and the training and monitoring of peer mentors for the compulsory peer mentoring component of the subject as key aspects of a subject focussed around a team project.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007
EventConnectED 2007: International Conference on Design Education - The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 9 Jul 200712 Jul 2007


ConferenceConnectED 2007


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