Stimulating a creative approach to learning about a manufacturing process
Editor: Clarke, A, Ion, W, McMahon, C and Hogarth, P
Author: Loy, Jennifer Elizabeth
As educators, we understand the theory of student-centered learning, but translating that into practical projects for students is a challenge compared to traditional lecturer-led, exam based learning. How can students be encouraged to take more control of their own learning in a broader range of teaching areas? Engineering designers and industrial designers need to be able to explore and exploit the potential of different manufacturing processes. In addition, creative thinking and open-ended exploration could potentially stimulate situations where new processes might in themselves be developed in response to their design ideas and initial research. A short, example project was set up with first year design students to explore innovation through student-centered learning for teaching technological processes and related design development. This type of class, learning about a specific batch production manufacturing method (in this case steam bending), had formerly been taught through demonstrations and a schedule of test pieces that the students had to make. This format was radically changed in an attempt to help the students to develop a more in depth understanding of processes and a more questioning, creative outlook.