Design Education: Fostering the Conditions for Transfer Through a Structured and Critical Approach to Reflective Practice

DS 81: Proceedings of NordDesign 2014, Espoo, Finland 27-29th August 2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Miko Laakso, Kalevi Ekman
Author: Ellmers, Grant; Bennett, Sue; Brown, Ian
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: University of Wollongong, Australia
Section: Education and teaching of design, product development, and innovation
Page(s): 115-124
ISBN: 978-1-904670-58-2


The application of project-based and studio-based learning in design education is widespread. For this multiple-project curriculum to be effective, it is important students transfer their learning between projects as they progress through their program of study, however students are often left to connect their learning themselves. Reflection offers a means to support students to connect their learning across projects by introducing a more deliberate engagement with the learning inherent in the design process. This paper examines a structured and critical approach to reflective practice, and the role it can play fostering the conditions for transfer. The results from this empirical study suggest that reflective practice can play an effective role to guide learners to identify and analyse the learning inherent in their project. This approach fosters transfer by supporting learners to connect their thinking from the project with thinking about approaches to other projects and thinking about their practice.

Keywords: Structured reflection, critical reflection, reflection-on-action, transfer


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