Designer Society: Addressing The Community Needs Of A Design School Using E-Learning

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Art & Design education is often characterised by its social constructivist studio culture of teaching and learning. However due to recent economic, political and technological drivers, Universities now struggle to provide the resources and studio space that traditional courses require. As a consequence, studio culture, which has been the bedrock of design students' learning, is disappearing and lecturers are spending increased amounts of time trying to ensure that their learning communities survive. In the light of this change, this study sought to address the community needs of a School of Design using e-learning, by identifying its stakeholders' notions of community, assessing their e-learning needs, and then proposing a new model of design community learning. Through the use of an extensive survey, which comparatively assessed the views of almost two hundred students and staff, and an ambitious action research project called 'Designaeum' which developed both physical and virtual models of idealised learning communities the three subordinate tasks outlined above were broadly achieved. The final result was a working hypothesis that has important implications for policymakers. It suggests that whilst there are many progressive changes to the student experience that the School could make, it was perhaps more important that any new pedagogy should value student discourse over student coursework since the ability to communicate is an implicit feature of studio culture and lies at the core of any successful community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConnectED 2007
Subtitle of host publication1st International Conference on Design Education
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherUniversity of New South Wales
ISBN (Electronic)9780646481470
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2007


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