Modelling Collective Learning in Conceptual Design

Year: 2004
Author: Wu, Zhichao
Supervisor: Duffy, Alex H. B.
Institution: University of Strathclyde CAD Centre, Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management
Page(s): 258


That learning is linked with designing has been observed in design practice, and has been investigated in the context of one designer. However, the nature of the learning phenomenon in a design context such as team design (i.e. collective learning) was not revealed. Modelling collective learning in design provides a foundation for understanding and supporting collaborative design. This thesis presents the development of a model of collective learning in the conceptual design stage of student design teams. The main contribution of new knowledge is a model of collective learning. Issues that were concerned with the elements of a team design and a collective learning activity, with forms of collective learning and the links between team design and collective learning were identified, based upon the requirements for a model of collective learning in design and existing models and theories in the domain of design and learning. They were investigated using protocol data of a student design team meeting, from which a model of collective learning in design was proposed. The proposed model was then tested by two meeting sessions of another team, which resulted in the evolution of the model. The evolved model illustrates that designers in student design teams can learn from each other through their interactions in different forms with respect to designer interaction, goal of learning, and involvement of a designer. A collective learning activity can be modelled as elements of input knowledge, learned knowledge, learning goal, rationale trigger, and learning operators. The evolved model is evaluated by a set of predefined criteria. Finally, strength and the weakness of this work are discussed. Future works are identified.

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