Introduce myself… Introduce presentation....‘ The Learningscape of a Virtual Design Atelier’
Context: OU – ‘Supported Open Learning’ – Distance Learning – Supported by Tutors or AL – 13 regional centres – some open face-2-face days – wide variety of students Design @ OU: Began 1975 - Focus on process – User-centered design, sustainability, design thinking 3 Design Courses: 1 st , 2 nd and 3 rd Level Courses: (U101: Design Thinking ; T211: Design and Designing and T307: Innovation: Design for a Sustainable Future ). These form backbone for the bachelor degree course in Design. Courses have around 500 students – taught using 24 tutors & AL
Based on Atelier-D Project: A current 2-year JISC funded research project involving 7 Academics from the faculty of Maths, Computing and Technology (6 of these are from the dept of Design, Development Environment and Materials) AIM : to create a virtual learning environment to support some of the fundamental features found within a traditional design studio or ‘atelier . PROBLEM: Traditional f-2-f design education students & tutors share same physical space - involves formal & informal learning – transfer ‘tacit’ knowledge CHALLENGE: to create a design atelier that can support social-situated learning within distance design education .
First Aim : – to understand the core features of the Design Studio or ‘Atelier’. Based on the traditional Atelier Principle – a centuries old method of learning centred on the collaboration between master artist or craftsperson and student. This still exists today – yet changing due impact of new technology , lack of design studio space and changes in student learning behaviour (Marc Prensky 2001 Digital Native, Digital Immigrants).
Second Aim: To explore a variety of Web 2.0 technologies to support learning Social Networking sites (Facebook, Flickr and Ning), Video Conferencing Tool (Elluminate), Knowledge Mapping Tool (Compendium), Virtual Worlds (Second Life), Collaborative Content Creation Tools (Googlewave), and a online design e-portfolio (OpenDesignStudio)
Methodology: Action Research – Design Teaching – (Volunteer & whole course) (Student & Tutors) – Mixed Methods Of Data Collection (Qualitative – questionnaires & interviews), quantitative (statistics analysis – analytics and sns) and Observation.
Project Status: - YEAR 1 : 6 studies ( CDI ) explored 6 interfaces to support student learning. 8- 350 Volunteer s from: Level 2 & 3 of Design Courses ( Facebook SN successful, Elluminate supported online tutorial support - slow, Compendium & bespoke ODS built into new Level 1 course U101, Peer-2-Peer assessment using Flickr proved sucessful, and Second Life – successful in small group) Evaluation of these studies success informed Year 2: YEAR 2 – Bigger Scale (larger no. of students & Tutors) Program Focused (3 PDI studies) Second Life: successful with a small group – not scalable for large groups Flickr work ( Peer-2-Peer Assessment ) informed the development of ODS (enables photosharing & and a space to build a portfolio of design work) Compendium (knowledge mapping) continues used in Level 1 Course U101 & Eliminate work continue success (Online Tutorial Support ) - Social Networked proved successful – moved from Facebook to Ning (Personal learning space – allow for customization possibilities) - OpenDesignStudio (e-portfolio) (Level 1 course U101) – Googlewave used for tutors to share resources and knowledge – Ning – Social Network follows on from successful Facebook study (Ning used – closed learning space + Customisation)
ODS –(eportfolio) Currently rolled out in the new U101 Course Design Thinking (Feb 2010) – 350 Students – Share & Comment on each others work – Build a design portfolio. Evaluation of Student Engagement – Early evidence: hugely successful - signs that this can help in developing a CoP amongst design students
Evaluating the use of GoogleWave for Tutors to share ideas, resources, and experiences – Build a Collaborative Network Closed discussion area – potential to support CoP L imited success – currently investigating a deeper understanding of tutors use of new technologies and preferred method of student support
(Facebook Study) - Cross-Programme Network - Ning Network – desigNing - Over 100 members - Dynamic & interactive – Design related resources - Create an online community for all design students across all the Design Award - Develop a CoP Evaluating the value of using such technologies to enhance cross-course dialogue to develop an informal community of learning
Some Observations & Findings – Identified into 6 Areas: Social Space – learners and tutors important for augmenting social-situated learning – a principle taken from studio-based learning . Simulating the ‘Corridor and Café Conversations ’ & ‘ Notice boards and Exhibition spaces ’ found in traditional face-2-face teaching. Provide informal & formal social exchanges of design ideas, problems and similar experience. Social Networking tools (Ning & Facebook. ODS) provide Social spaces- ( public spaces : conversations, news, events, closed spaces ODS): Evaluation ongoing
Finding: Emergence of a particular Social Structure of Learners – SOCIAL ROLES – Identified Using SNA - SOCIALIZERS (involved in social discussion), CONTENT-FOCUSED (focused on course-related discussion), BROKERS (actively directed at transferring information between the two)
Visual Object Sharing- Aids design communication - centered around visual objects (images & videos) which are shared within a community of learners. – Proved VERY POSITIVE effects. (Facebook, Flickr, Ning). Current evaluations on the effect of visual sharing are still taking place.
Personalisation – Is important – Linked to Personal Identity . The ability to customize and personalize a space aids to create a student design identity (Ning).. Encourages ownership …..
Using technology to facilitate Reflective Practice – To support reflective thinking and communication of design processes. Mind mapping tools like Compendium tools students can evaluate their own design process and communicate this visually. Designing Collaboratively using Second Life within real-time. Compendium Study - very small – and further evaluation of this tool is taking place. SL effective in recreating a design studio – yet limited to small groups and technology too difficult to employ large scale.
Creation of a Cross-Communication Platform for learning across design course programs – For students and tutors to communicate and share ideas and experience with others across different course programs'. E.g. Googlewave. – sharing content
Main Challenges – 2 Areas – TECHNOLOGICAL – PEDOGOGIC APPLICATION Technological : : Stability & Scalability – huge impact – Level of support requires (depends on technology) Abundance of web 2.0 tools can leave students overwhelmed and confused – Level of Privacy (Ning – Googlewave) USABLE Application: Embedded into Course Learning objectives – Clear Guidance how to use it (tailor made guides) – Benefits are Clear to users – Appropriate to learning objectives – Time built in to learn how to use them
To sum up: The study draws to a close –6 Key Findings & Observations are identified - point the way of how technology can be used to support the creation of a virtual design atelier. Importance of Social Spaces (allow personal and social spaces for reflection, communication and creation of personal design identity). How visual object sharing encourages cross – communication and the formation of social roles in order to develop a COP Further work in needed in understanding the informal and formal spaces – This is not only important for distance learning, but will impact on face-2-face education which is moving to a more blended learning method of teaching. This provides a glimpse into the potential for creating a future learningscape for a virtual design atelier.
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The Future Learningscapes of a Virtual Atelier
Virtual Design Atelier Jennefer Hart The Open University The Learningscape of a
Design @ OU ✴ Distance Taught ✴ Process Focused ✴ User-centered ✴ Design & Creative Thinking
Atelier-D Project UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design “ Achieving Transformation, Enhanced Learning and Innovation through Educational Resources in Design ”
What is a Design Atelier ? Gustave Courbet ‘The Studio of the Artist’ 1855
Methodology Action Research Mixed Method Social Networking Analysis Analytics Observational Questionnaire / Interview Quantitative Qualitative Design Teaching Volunteer & Whole Course Students & Tutors