Collaborative Mentorships in Design Education

DS 85-2: Proceedings of NordDesign 2016, Volume 2, Trondheim, Norway, 10th - 12th August 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Boks, Casper; Sigurjonsson, Johannes; Steinert, Martin; Vis, Carlijn; Wulvik, Andreas
Author: Stark, Camilla Gwendolyn; Howell, Bryan F
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Brigham Young University, United States of America
Section: Educational Perspectives
Page(s): 168-177
ISBN: 978-1-904670-80-3


Peer mentorship in education has many well-documented benefits. However, students in the Millennial generation do not respond well to traditional, structured mentorship practices reflecting Baby Boomer values and mentality typically found in contemporary design education. This study specifically addresses mentorship practices among Millennial industrial design students at Brigham Young University and the Technical University of Delft. We researched student behavior through literature reviews, nine student/faculty interviews, and a student survey on collaborative practices with sixty-one respondents. Based on this research, students can best develop authentic, beneficial mentorships through frameworks that encourage unstructured learning. Successful examples include long-term collaboration in special topics classes and student-run clubs and organizations. The paper concludes with potential dangers of collaboration and a plan to increase collaborative mentorships at Brigham Young University.

Keywords: unstructured mentorships, structured mentorships, course design, learning environments

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