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: Juuti, Tero; Rättyä, Kaisu; Lehtonen, Timo
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1Tampere University of Technology, 2 University of Eastern Finland
Section: Studio
Page(s): 296-301
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9


In this paper, we analyse engineering students’ learning logs on a basic course on Product design and
development (4 credit points) for second year students. Our purpose is to improve the engineering
education by focusing on the learning logs. We want to explore the possibilities of using a reflective
assessment tool like a learning log in our courses. For the research strategy, we chose educational
design research. Our research focuses on how we can benefit from learning logs in product
development education. The learning logs with only a few log entries were lists of activities performed
during the course. The most comprehensive learning logs with dozens of log entries demonstrated
abilities of a reflective practitioner and knowledge of a variety of tools, and they provided proof of the
creation of a design toolbox for future use. The reports discussed the knowledge of key concepts in
product design and development and procedural issues. The separation of divergent and convergent
problem solving phases and understanding the concepting process was well demonstrated. The
learning logs also revealed metacognitive aspects, such as an awareness of personal product design
and development skills and potential mental blocks in creativity. The learning logs are useful for the
teacher, as the teacher receives feedback on the course, the tasks, instructions etc. The learning logs
also reveal what the students thinks and why. This enables the teacher to evaluate the students’ skill
levels and to plan the scaffolding activities to be used with the groups.

Keywords: Learning log, metacognitive knowledge, sustainable assessment, feedback.


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