This project will address a recurrent problem in design education, that students are sometimes disengaged from key ‘creative conversations’ and that this problem can be exacerbated by learning technologies. The project will deploy trial ‘information spaces’ that will provide learners with the appropriate artefacts and modes of interacting with a learning situation, and with their peers and tutors, to enable them to engage more flexibly and effectively in conversations characterised by innovation and reflective, critical thinking. Key technological components will be the management and display of design information and critical feedback across appropriate display surfaces; the capture in appropriate media of significant design information; and the ability to replay, annotate and reflect upon such captured content.

Information spaces for collaborative creativity

This project is now completed. The Final Report is available at the bottom of the page.

This project will address a recurrent problem in design education, that students are sometimes disengaged from key ‘creative conversations’ and that this problem can be exacerbated by learning technologies. The project will deploy trial ‘information spaces’ that will provide learners with the appropriate artefacts and modes of interacting with a learning situation, and with their peers and tutors, to enable them to engage more flexibly and effectively in conversations characterised by innovation and reflective, critical thinking. Key technological components will be the management and display of design information and critical feedback across appropriate display surfaces; the capture in appropriate media of significant design information; and the ability to replay, annotate and reflect upon such captured content.

Aims and Objectives

The project will trial and evaluate a number of interventions in design and design education settings with the aim of supporting more effective design conversations in a class or group setting, and richer ways of reflecting on design conversations afterwards. One line of investigation will focus on novel ways of presenting and displaying information, providing multiple views on design-relevant information in a way that integrates with students’ design crit activity. Another line will explore the capture of information, activity, and conversation in a design session to support later reflection.

Project Methodology

  • A combination of methods and approaches will be deployed on this project:
    A baseline understanding of current practice will be developed using several appropriate investigation methods. In particular, ethnographic-style studies will be conducted to develop an understanding of ‘crits’ and similar process in design education.
  • Building on the baseline knowledge, we will deploy a series of ‘prototype’ interventions in learning situations that will allow us to trial different technology configurations. In tandem with this, we will carefully evaluate the impact that interventions have on design conversations.

Anticipated outputs and outcomes

  1. Descriptions of delivery and support for interaction design and related areas of curriculum. This report will make comparisons with current practice in the delivery of such curriculum and will present a detailed rationale for the innovations that are being trialled as responses to the challenges identified above
  2. Case study detailing the deployment of Information Space technologies for the delivery of curriculum at Middlesex or City (or both if appropriate)
  3. Evaluation report, reflecting on the issue encountered and articulating what has been learnt through carrying out the project and what future questions need to be explored
  4. Guidance for other institutions or curriculum areas seeking to deploy Creative Information Space technologies (e.g. more traditional areas of computer science like computer programming)
  5. 6-monthly interim reports, and a final report
Technology / Standards used

Appropriate technologies will be used for the capture and delivery of crit and similar design sessions. A likely candidate is Apple’s Podcasting and server technologies.

Project Staff

Project Manager

Bob Fields, Interaction Design Centre, School of Engineering and Information Sciences, Middlesex University; tel: 020 8411 2272; fax: 020 8411 6943;  b.fields@mdx.ac.uk

Project Team

Andy Bardill Middlesex University; School of Engineering and Information Sciences, tel: 020 8411 5000, a.bardill@mdx.ac.uk

Martin Loomes, Middlesex University; School of Engineering and Information Sciences, tel: 020 8411 5000,  M.Loomes@mdx.ac.uk

Balbir Barn, Middlesex University; School of Engineering and Information Sciences, tel: 020 8411 5000, B.Barn@mdx.ac.uk

Sara Jones, City University, Centre for HCI Design, tel: 0 20 7040 8326, saraj@soi.city.ac.uk

Panayiotis Zaphiris, City University, Centre for HCI Design, tel: 0 20 7040 8168, zaphiri@soi.city.ac.uk

Documents & Multimedia

Summary
Start date
1 November 2008
End date
31 October 2010
Funding programme
e-Learning programme
Strand
Transforming curriculum delivery through technology
Lead institutions
Middlesex University
Partner institutions
City University, Centre for HCI design
Topic