Reflection in Design Education Using Visual Technology
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Einar Stoltenberg, Vibeke Sj
Institution: Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
Section: Using Technology in Teaching
Product design students are trained to express themselves through visual media like two-dimensional (2D) and 3D drawing, prototyping, and digital media. Thus, written language is not always their first choice of communication. The aim of this study was to explore how multimedia can add to or broaden the scope within reflective work, and to identify the changes that may occur when product design students reflect through a visual and technological media like film instead of writing. Further, the disclosed findings are discussed through theory on reflection in education. The study was conducted via two workshops with product design students, participatory observation, and questionnaires. Sharing reflection through film introduced a different process to the students. One element was that the participants reflected in groups; this changed the process from individual to collective. Participants shared their reflections with others through both making and showing the film. Most of the students preferred filmmaking to written reflection, but the research also indicated that alternating between the two would be ideal. It was found that filmmaking increased the time and effort spent on reflection. Moreover, working in groups gave the students an arena to thoroughly discuss their discoveries and learn from each other. Exploring the potential of including several media adds to our understanding of reflection. As such, this paper sheds light on an alternative approach to reflection, and contributes a method of carrying out reflective work within design education and other educations using visual media and creative tools.