OnOff: Creative Method Integration: from Physical to Digital and Back in Mechanical Engineering and Product Design

DS 91: Proceedings of NordDesign 2018, Linköping, Sweden, 14th - 17th August 2018

Year: 2018
Editor: Ekströmer, Philip; Schütte, Simon and Ölvander, Johan
Author: Avital, Iko; Mazor, Gedalya
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: SCE-Shamoon College of Engineering
ISBN: 978-91-7685-185-2


The principal objective of this paper is to demonstrate the capability of a smartphone being a useful learning sources tool in product design, rather than being a hindrance in class. OnOff is an interactive teaching and learning method, in our SCE program of Mechanical Engineering in Product Design (MEPD); it is a mixed creative process that combines abstract and concrete creative thinking in two levels of experience, when a smartphone becomes a 'personal workbench', together with existing experience of hands on labs, such as wood, metal, plastic, color, 3D printers, and varied machinery. OnOff method is designed to face teaching challenge with two main problems. The first, low and scattered attention: how to deal with the growing disturbance of using smartphones during class. Second, generational gap: how to bridge design teaching by X or Y Generation faculty, versus digital addiction of Z-Generation students. OnOff, this mixed of Offline and Online teaching method, is based on qualitative research of self-learning experience; it was tested on 120 undergraduate students; every student spent two academic years (four semesters), in Project Oriented 2Courses (Avital, Mazor, 2014), when Smartphones, some apps, and social network were always in use during class session. Our MEPD program consist three courses' categories: four practical and theoretical Creativity and Innovation courses, four POC, and three courses of Art and Design: Free conception drawing, Creative work with paper, and Design History and Philosophy lecture and roundtable discussions. The results of using this method indicates a great change(Brown, 2009)in positive mood of participants and general class atmosphere, high readiness to cooperate even with overseas teams, motivation of most individuals to search and explore in depth images and texts, better self-ideation, WhatsApp team-brainstorming, Skype presentations, and varied prototypes outcomes: preliminary, Digital, and 3D printed. Results also showed that a free use of digital screens, especially smartphone, facilitates the ideation stage, and particularly improved attention, and performance of inventive products, and creative problem solving tasks as well; when personal smartphone became ""legal"" in class, its presence became a breakthrough and creative learning tool for searching, documenting, communicating, and much more. It also facilitated students to experience cross-team projects in engineering and design with overseas institutes, which focuses on Cross-Campus and Cross-Function Learning

Keywords: Tangible versus intangible, Z-Generation students, Smartphone Addiction, On -and -Off process


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