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: Van Turnhout, Koen; Coppens, Anne; Craenmehr, Sabine; Bakker, René
Series: E&PDE
Institution: HAN University of Applied Sciences, Information & Communication AcademyRuitenberglaan 26, 6826 CC Arnhem, The Netherlands
Section: Preparing Students for Cross-dsciplinarity
Page(s): 487-492
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9


The absence of a shared language and set of values about research among teaching staff is a core
difficulty in teaching (applied) research in a multidisciplinary design and engineering context. In this
paper we argue for a ‘triangulation first approach’ in which the Development Oriented Triangulation
(DOT) framework is introduced as a lingua franca for research education. We promote practical,
mixed-methods research from the beginning of the curriculum and focus on stimulating and nurturing
an open-minded research attitude, before actually teaching specific methods. In this paper we explain
our approach and report on a first year course as a case study. We found, first, that students and
teachers of diverse backgrounds understand and value the DOT-framework easily. Second, it is a
helpful research planning tool. Third, the framework helps to highlight the connection between
research and the practice of designing. Fourth, it broadens students’ and teachers’ views on research
and it helps them appreciate approaches other than their own. In summary: to alleviate the linguistic
and axiological confusions, inherent in teaching research in a multidisciplinary program, we need a
different start of the curriculum first.

Keywords: Design Research Education, Mixed-method Research, Triangulation First, Development Oriented Triangulation Framework.


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