Facilitating Transition to Team Based Design Education

Year: 2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Christian Tollestrup
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Aalborg University, Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Denmark
Section: Collaboration
Page(s): 340-345
ISBN: 978-1-904670-56-8


When students enrol in Problem Based Learning (PBL) and Project-oriented universities at Industrial Design programs, what are their expectations and prerequisites for starting to learn about design and work in teams with design? The short answer is: not as much as they think, studies shows that even if they had previous experience with project work in teams, they still encounter problems during their first semesters. So as a way to ease the transition from highly framed and facilitated high school learning context to university self-driven learning context a small experiment was carried out in 2011 and 2012 in form of a “Survival Kit”. This paper investigates the long-term effect of the “Survival Kit” regarding the students’ development in understanding the expectations towards them and the pitfalls in studying and working projects in teams through questionnaires given to two set of students; one set that received the survival kit in 2011 and 2012 and one set that did not. The questionnaire inquires the students’ attitude towards 4 aspects:
1. General level of preparedness for team and problem based project work
2. Level of information of expectations from supervisors and programme
3. Reflection of the role in a team, problem based project work
4. The level of information of special expectations from the Industrial Design program towards team and problem based project work.
Results indicates that Class receiving the “Survival Kit” improved in the calibration of expectations and enhance students attitude towards dealing with development projects as an external professional activity, rather than an internal personal activity, thus increasing team-orientation.
The paper discusses the results and indications from the results in relation to creating a productive study environment and eases the transition into the learning context of a university.

Keywords: Problem Based Learning (PBL), Design education, Facilitation, Survival Kit


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