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Design Science Journal
Papers

Impact of Bachelor Research Projects by Design Students

Impact of Bachelor Research Projects by Design Students

Year: 2010

Section: CURRICULUM DEVELOPOMENT AND REVISION

Editor: Boks W; Ion, W; McMahon, C and Parkinson B

Author: Wever, Renee; Christiaans Henri

Section: CURRICULUM DEVELOPOMENT AND REVISION

Pages: 54-59

Abstract

For ten years, the curriculum of the Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) bachelor program at Delft
University of Technology contained a bachelor research project. This 8 ECTS course consisted of a
small block of research theory, while the majority was taken up by a practical research assignment.
These assignments were provided by individual researchers within the faculty. This allowed students
to be introduced into the research of the faculty, while simultaneously allowing researchers to have
some assistance in the execution of their own research.
This paper presents an assessment of this course, in order to gain insight into the effect it has had both
on the research skills of students, as well as on faculty research. The used data consists of quantitative
and qualitative student feedback from the regular course evaluation system. Secondly, an assessment
is made of the contributions that these bachelor research projects have had to scientific publications by
faculty members. Furthermore, a number of faculty members that supervised multiple of these
projects, as well as master students were asked to reflect on the usefulness of the course.
Results show that, from the faculty perspective, there has been a clear added value of the course, as
faculty members used it to explore research questions on the periphery of their own research, or used
the projects as pilot studies for follow-up research. From the perspective of the students, the majority
of students questioned in the year of taking the course are positive about the research project.
Retrospective reflections with a small group of master students gives a mixed picture, indicating that,
if such a course was to be re-instated in the new curriculum, some improvements in the set-up could
be made.

Keywords: Design research, research program, design curriculum, publications

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Design Science Journal