Corporate Co-operation in Design Education in Light of Situated Learning
DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Gulden, Tore; Skjelbred, Bente
Institution: Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
Section: Design Education Methods
This paper explores how one can understand corporate cooperation as part of design education in the light of theory on situated learning. The origin for the study is a cooperative project between postgraduate students in Product Design and Lego. The students worked from a satellite office on campus on an open-innovation developing platform with Lego. The suitability of problem-based learning and master-novice learning is compared to functioning in a community of practice and an open-innovation process, as most of the students have been subjected to these learning approaches in their former education. The project presented some challenges to the students in relation to understanding their roles and assessing their performance. While reflecting on the project, the students recognized their limitations and suggested how the problems that arose could have been avoided. As a consequence of this reflection, we suggest introducing cooperative projects on an open-innovation platform at the beginning of the BA rather than at the end of the MA. This would allow the student to comprehend his/her role as a designer and develop professional confidence earlier as well as to reach a higher level of understanding, cooperation and critical thinking. This opposed to learning by problem-based and master-novice pedagogical environments, which does not ensure the considering of the social relevance in design projects, acquisition of skills to perform in cross-functional teams, nor to equip students with the necessary skills to perform in a community of practice.