Problem Based Learning versus Design Thinking in Team Based Project Work

DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Stokholm, Marianne
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark
Section: Design Education and Design Cultures
Page(s): 268-274
ISBN: 978-1-904670-56-8


All educations at Aalborg University has since 1974 been rooted in Problem Based Learning (PBL). In 1999 a new education in Industrial design was set up, introducing Design Based Learning (DBL).
Even though the two approaches have a lot in common they also hold different understandings of core project based learning issues, which has caused a need to describe and compare the two models; in specific the understandings, approaches and organization of learning in project work. The PBL model viewing the process as 3 separate project stages including; problem analysis, problem solving and project report, with focus on problem solving through analysis. Design Based Learning viewing the process as series of integrated design spaces including; alignment, research, mission, vision, concept, product and process report, with focus on innovative ideation though integration. There is a need of renewing the PBL to update the educations to meet today’s competitive global society. In order to create an informed basis for discussing and updating the historic approach to project work at Aalborg University, this paper will try to unfold and compare PBL and DBL and the competences they create through team based project work. The paper will exemplify how projects work is organized, supervised, staged and reported. It will investigate the practical organization of the teamwork and process as well as the dominating mindsets and methods used during the process. Comparing the two models concerning the learning aims the competence they create.

Keywords: Problem Based Learning, Design Based Learning, Design Thinking, Project models, Teamwork


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