DS 83: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE16), Design Education: Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinarity, Aalborg, Denmark, 8th-9th September 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Christian Tollestrup, Kaare Eriksen, Nis Ovesen
Author: Reddy Gudur, Raghavendra
Series: E&PDE
Institution: University of Canberra
Section: Design Practice
Page(s): 140-145
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9


There is a general assumption that teaching prescriptive “design methods” to novice design students
will result in effective analysis of a problem that will result in an innovative solution. However, in
reality, most students use “design methods” as a tool to present their resolved solution rather than use
it to arrive at that solution. In other words, students mostly use traditional design methods taught as an
effective persuasion tool to secure better grade. For this reason, we argue that we should encourage
students to pick up appropriate design behaviour early in their course. By stressing practicing
designers seldom apply design methods as described in the textbooks. In this paper we share our
action research over a period of two semesters to investigate effective approaches to achieve this goal.
Overall, initially students found it difficult to move away from traditional prescriptive design methods
they were exposed to in their high school studies. Students’ feedback showed that they preferred a
more structured and incremental treatment of the subject. Based on this feedback and students’
assessments outcome we have developed a pedagogical framework based on nudge theory to address
their expectations and learning objectives.

Keywords: Learning, design thinking, abstract reasoning, teaching.


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