Evaluating the integration of digital design and prototyping tools in a problem-based learning tertiary level course

  • YEAR
    Jones, Wyn
    Gu, Ning
    Williams, Tony
    2010 Conference Papers


ABSTRACT: This paper presents an example for tertiary level education institutions to establish and
develop a digital design and prototyping course in a problem-based learning environment. The paper
reports on a developed framework that was used as a basis for a computational design course
involving a mixed cohort of architecture and industrial design students. Using a practical design brief,
students went through a design process with an object (either physical or virtual) as an assessment
submission, including providing an appropriate solution to an identified problem. This design scenario,
involving the investigation of a range of possible outcomes, evaluates specific realisation tools that are
currently bound in the academic domain and yet to be utilised effectively by industry. Outcomes of the
course included a range of perception-challenging forms and a thorough evaluation of the course from
the students’ experience of using both familiar and unfamiliar design tools. A quantitative analysis of
the students’ self-reflection enabled the course leaders to refine the course structure, design brief,
teaching methods, project context and outcomes that will improve the learning of successive years of


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