Use of a Multi-touch Surface to Support Distributed Design Meetings as part of a Problem-based Learning Approach to Teaching Design

DS 69: Proceedings of E&PDE 2011, the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, London, UK, 08.-09.09.2011

Year: 2011
Editor: Kovacevic, Ahmed, Ion, William, McMahon, Chris, Buck, Lyndon and Hogarth, Peter
Author: Jones, Sara; Rakocevic, Veselin; Williams, Meirion; Atanasova, Eli
Series: E&PDE
Section: Design Teaching Environment 3
Page(s): 696-700


In today's globalized economy, students of engineering and product design need to acquire the skills to work as part of distributed design teams. Students on the European Global Product Realisation (EGPR) course follow a problem-based learning approach to develop such skills by working together in design teams where members are distributed across 5 different countries in Europe. This work is currently supported by the use of vairous different technologies. However, communication between team members remains a major challenge, especially during the design phase of a project. This paper reports the results of an exploratory study in which students in distributed locations worked together on sketching a mobile user interface design using a multi-touch interactive surface in combination with software to support synchronous on-line cmmunications between distributed team members. Results suggest that the novel combination of technologies investigated in our study provides interesting opportunities for teaching in this context. However, the support provided by the particular combination of tools adopted in this study was in some respects limited. We end with some recmmendations for future development that will address these limitations.

Keywords: Multi-touch surfaces, creativity, design, global development


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