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29 OCTOBER 2013

Using a Recording Template as part of a Reflective Practice Model

"An RT [Recording Template] is required to collate this evidence forming a framework from which we will annotate the project's life cycle. This reflection will bring about a direct interface with the learning contract (LC) objectives and help shape and control the project as it occurs. Alongside the RT, a daily journal will also be kept and all the notes of communication from peers logged and referred back to. This triangulation of data, will allow me to gain a sense of perspective towards my research. The different evidence will qualify a more balanced view of events."

(James Kelway, 31 March 2005)

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TAGS

action researchannotationsBob DickCal Swann • daily journal • data triangulation • Donald Schon • evidence forming • evidence gatheringhigher education • James Kelway • James McKernan • Jean McNiff • Josey-Bass • Kogen Page • learning contract • lifecycle model • Ortrunn Zuber-Skeritt • practice of design • professional developmentproject method • project reflection • project work • recording template • reflective journalreflective practitionerresearch method • Rizal Sebastian • triangulation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 FEBRUARY 2009

One to one is not enough: participatory technologies and learning

"The ways students use digital technologies are fundamentally different from how they are taught in the design studio. Implicated herein is the practice of teaching primarily through one–on–one 'desk crits' – what design educator Cal Swann derogatorily refers to as the 'Sitting by Nellie' approach, which often results in design instructors explaining their personal experiences in order to improve the students' work.

Conversely, by motivating students as active participants in learning, who construct knowledge collaboratively with their peers – rather than relying upon transmissive teacher–to–student approaches that create what Fischer calls 'passive, consumer–learners' – co–operative technologies reduce the focus on isolated learners. Such collaborative practices are not just about learning how to master participatory technologies as a means to personal expression; they should also be understood as social skills that enable engagement within a larger group or community.

The implications of participatory technologies for the practice of design will be long–term, far–reaching and are already being felt – though they are only beginning to be understood. What these developments mean for design education has barely begun to be addressed. 'The informal participatory communities of fans and gamers are where digital natives already congregate when they seek out knowledge – not the traditional classroom where learning is seen to be static, provisional and bureaucratic,' Jenkins declares. His cautionary report that schools tend to educate only individual problem–solvers – even though students entering the workplace will be asked to work collaboratively in teams, drawing on different sets of expertise – is as valid to design pedagogy as it is to education in general.

Digital technologies allow anyone with access not only to peer behind the curtain of the mysterious creative process but to experiment with it, and even appropriate the creations of others, first hand. Pierre Lévy's notion of a problem–solving, democratic 'collective intelligence' is already a reality on the Net where most of tomorrow's designers now engage with creative culture. When this group enters higher education, they will not leave their online communities and collaborative skills at the door.

There will always be a symbiotic relationship between design and the technologies used to support the creation of artefacts. Nevertheless, once connected digital technologies are introduced in the design studio – as they were in the 1990s – a new way of (net‑)working and engaging with design's communities of practice is possible. Consequently, design education requires a new approach that imparts relevant knowledge and skills in partnership with these technologies – technologies that take advantage of a classroom that exists beyond the academy walls and position the design student as a part of a broader community of learners.

From this perspective, students are not just individualised learners, the computer is not just another production tool, and the classroom studio is not a self–contained entity where students acquire knowledge to be applied later outside in the 'real world'. This type of connected pedagogy can be envisioned as a part of a wider network of learning, fostering engagement with the field that continues long after students receive their diplomas. The design classroom and its curriculum of projects, critiques and comps still have a crucial role to play in such a context, but they have to be connected with what students already know about in their world.

This article is based on research from the KnowledgeWorks Foundation (kwfdn.org).

Illustration by João Fazenda"
(Deborah Littlejohn, Eye no.70 vol. 18)

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TAGS

agency of access and engagementCal Swanncommunities of practice • consumer-learners • CoP • Deborah Littlejohn • design educationdesign studiodesk critsdigital technologiesHenry Jenkinsparticipationparticipatory technologiespedagogy • Sitting by Nellie

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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