Helping design educators foster collaborative learning amongst design students

Joyce Yee, Kathryn McKelvey, Emma Jefferies

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This paper discusses the development of online teaching resources that enable design educators to foster collaborative learning amongst students in the design disciplines. These online teaching resources will be made available through the Design Collaboration website. This website was recently set up by Northumbria University, a UK based institution, to provide an online resource for design educators wishing to develop collaborative pedagogies in design education. It currently contains case studies of collaborative student projects but lacks practical teaching resources. As a result, a research project was set up to compliment the current case studies by creating a suite of design-specific tools and resources that will help foster team management and development. Although various institutions have addressed the subject of group work and collaborative learning, there has been no online resource dedicated to the development of practical teaching tools to help design students work and learn together. This paper focuses on showcasing the range of teaching tools and resources developed through classroom-based trials. These resources have been developed specifically in consultation with Northumbria University's design educators and trialled with undergraduate and postgraduate students from different design disciplines. In addition, issues surrounding the translation of these tools into a practical, easy to use and accessible in an online format is discussed. The Icograda World Design Congress 2009 Education Conference is the ideal international platform to share these tools with the wider design education community. More importantly, we hope to grow the website by encouraging other design educators to submit case studies to the website, using it not only as a means of sharing good practice but also as a tool for reflection. The research value is two-fold (a) translating implicit knowledge of collaborative learning into a practical teaching resource and, (b) helping tutors improve their teaching practice, by linking the teaching resource to real experiences through case studies and interviews.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIridescent: Icograda Journal of Design Research
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2010


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