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04/3: Collaboration in Design Education
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3:15pm - 3:35pm
Preparing to introduce design thinking in middle schools
The University of North Texas, United States of America
This case study critically analyses and describes knowledge gained and understandings constructed by a team of university-based design educators and researchers who engaged in the planning necessary to begin introducing specific aspects of design thinking in middle school classrooms in an Texas city of more than 140,000. (Middle schools in the U.S. typically educate students aged 11 to 14 years.) This piece articulates key insights about how and why the introduction of design thinking should be collaboratively and strategically planned if it is to function as an effective augmentation of a college preparatory curricula, and the learning experiences that constitute this, at this educational level. The authors, all of whom are art and design educators, share what they learned from an ongoing—three years-plus—collaboration with key school district administrators and advisors, curricular planners, middle school instructors, and more than 90 middle school students. The intent of this discourse is to provide readers with actionable means to effectively prepare the groundwork for introducing design thinking in actual middle school classrooms.
For those in the design education + research communities around the world who may wish to “learn from what we have learned” re: working with school admin and faculty to introduce design thinking into middle school classrooms, our presentation is also available as a video on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PztbOIFQSw
The video includes captions in English, Urdu, Mandarin, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Hindi, Turkish, and Portuguese.
3:35pm - 3:55pm
SOCIALLY-ENGAGED DISTANCE DESIGN COLLABORATION
1Yasar University, Turkey; 2Izmir Design Factory, Turkey
Applied design education was required to replicate the socially constructivist structure through digital tools due to Covid-19 Pandemic. However the effects of the distant design education over the students’ learning experience is not stated yet. For this reason, this study aims to discuss how the affective learning outcomes, creative and design self-efficacy and visual literacy level, of design students. Within this framework, the effects of distance education in the scope of introduction to industrial design course was indicated and discussed through reflections and self-evaluation surveys. The study was held with 26 1st year industrial design students in the fall semester of 2020-2021 academic year. Digital collaboration tools on the students’ perspective provides a ground for socialization and group work, simultaneously supporting distant collaboration in the educational perspective. This interaction comes forward as a motivational support for students, more importantly leads to an increased level of self-awareness in various layers of learning.
3:55pm - 4:15pm
Improving intercultural collaboration with visual thinking
1Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, University of Michigan, United States of America; 2Roger Williams University, United States of America
Intercultural collaboration is one strategy for promoting inclusion and innovation in design education. Bringing two or more cultures together in an environment facilitates learning from each other’s varied perspectives and ultimately creates positive interpersonal gains and design outcomes. This study explicates how visual thinking can address unspoken stumbling blocks that can disrupt teamwork. These barriers include unconscious bias, stereotyping, and other deeply held beliefs. This research is based on observations and virtual classroom interactions with remote collaborators located in North America and the Gulf Arab Region. The findings suggest that ignoring the existence of unconscious bias can maintain social and cultural barriers between teammates, thus restricting the opportunities for innovative approaches to collaborative projects and stifling a team’s outcomes (Murdoch-Kitt & Emans, 2020). Conversely, establishing trust helps teams reach their full potential (Katzen-bach & Smith, 1993). This inclusive approach to design is important in giving voice to underrepresented groups by opening up opportunities for discussion, dialogue, and understanding amongst team members.
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