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PHD-DESIGN  August 2009

PHD-DESIGN August 2009

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Subject:

Re: scientific jetsam and design thinking

From:

Robert Harland <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Robert Harland <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 12:16:03 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (90 lines)

On 18 Aug 2009, at 12:39, Karel van der Waarde wrote:
> I have the impression that graphic design education is aware of the  
> situation but misses a clear starting point on which decisions can  
> be based:
> - Yes, we know that professional practice encompasses more  
> activities than we could possibly teach in four years. How do we  
> select the most appropriate ones? - Yes, we know that graphic  
> designers individually combine interests, skills and personality.  
> How do you educate increasingly large groups of students to develop  
> their individual interests?



Hi Karel.

You raise an important set of questions here that I have been  
interested in for some time, at UG and PG level. I'm not going to  
attempt to deal with them here, they are too big, and they form part  
of an off-line dialogue we are having.

But for the benefit of the list, I want to add to your list of  
concerns that are likely to impact on Graphic Design education (and  
educators) at present and in the future. These focus on Learning and  
Teaching issues.

There is much opportunity to learn from research that has developed  
into University Learning and Teaching over recent decades. From the  
experience of working with colleagues developing graphic design  
curriculum, in my view it is important to have Learning and Teaching  
specialist input to curriculum development, as well as the input from  
'typographers, illustrators, web specialists...' etc. As part of the  
University sector in the UK, knowledge about Learning and Teaching is  
now more readily available to Graphic Design educators  most new  
lecturers are required to undertake some kind of professional  
University teaching qualification (much to say about this in relation  
to this list, but not here).

I also want to suggest a subtle change to your phrasing about 'how do  
we select the most appropriate ones?'. Due to the scale and diversity  
identified in your research (much of which I welcome), I think the  
issue here is more appropriately framed as 'how do we help students  
select the most appropriate ones?'. The focus then moves towards  
'student learning' rather than 'tutor teaching', and this in part  
addresses the second question you raise about scale.

In my own practice as an educator, in attempting to deal with scale I  
often convey to students material from research into Learning and  
Teaching. For example, from John Biggs  book 'Teaching for Quality  
Learning at University' (2nd Edition) (2003, p. 80), I cite the  
following table:

Most people learn...
10% of what they read
20% of what they hear
30% of what they see
50% of what they see and hear
70% of what they talk over with others
80% of what they use and do in real life
95% of what they teach someone else

(Source: attributed to William Glasser; quoted by Association for  
Supervisoors and Curriculum Development Guide 1988).

With this I try to encourage students to focus on the effective  
learning that happens above what is 50% effective. I can't  
substantiate whether this has an impact, but it does help me convey to  
students the importance of peer group learning and other sources  
beyond the tutor, and it maintains to some extent the ethos of Art and  
Design education. In general, I feel that students respond well to a  
better understanding of how they learn. In my experience, this  
consciousness has been a part of Art and Design education in the past.  
I can't recall any of this from my own experience in a former  
polytechnic in the 1980s.

There is much to discuss about 'how' we educate graphic designers in a  
University context, as well as 'what' they are educated in and for.  
And, according to the '95% effectiveness rating' in above table, there  
are many good reasons to embrace Learning and Teaching as an  
integrated part of our specialist subject knowledge.

Regards

Robert



Robert Harland    Lecturer    Loughborough University    School of Art  
and Design    +44 (0)1509 228980    [log in to unmask]
http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ac/mainpages/Research/staffpages/harland/harland.htm

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