Practice Based Learning Approaches in Collaborative Design and Engineering Education: A Case Study Investigation into the Benefits of a Crossdisciplinary Practice Based Learning Strategy

DS 74: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE12) Design Education for Future Wellbeing, Antwerp, Belguim, 06-07.9.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Christian, Mclening; Lyndon, Buck
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: Aston University, United Kingdom; 2: Buckinghamshire New University, United Kingdom
Section: Design Education and Industry
Page(s): 661-666
ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0


This study explores the ongoing pedagogical development of a number of undergraduate design and engineering programmes in the United Kingdom. Observations and data have been collected over several cohorts to bring a valuable perspective to the approaches piloted across two similar university departments while trialling a number of innovative learning strategies. In addition to the concurrent institutional studies the work explores curriculum design that applies the principles of Co-Design, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary learning, with both engineering and product design students working alongside each other through a practical problem solving learning approach known as the CDIO learning initiative (Conceive, Design Implement and Operate) [1].
The study builds on previous work presented at the 2010 EPDE conference: The Effect of Personality on the Design Team: Lessons from Industry for Design Education [2]. The subsequent work presented in this paper applies the findings to mixed design and engineering team based learning, building on the insight gained through a number of industrial process case studies carried out in current design practice. Developments in delivery also aligning the CDIO principles of learning through doing into a practice based, collaborative learning experience and include elements of the TRIZ creative problem solving technique [3]. The paper will outline case studies involving a number of mixed engineering and design student projects that highlight the CDIO principles, combined with an external industrial design brief. It will compare and contrast the learning experience with that of a KTP derived student project, to examine an industry based model for student projects. In addition key areas of best practice will be presented, and student work from each mode will be discussed at the conference.

Keywords: CDIO, cross-disciplinary, practice based learning, knowledge transfer partnerships


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