- Educational design
Becoming a designer means practise by doing, walking through a design process over and over again, each time with a new design problem, context and stakeholders. Educating design therefore isn’t straight forward either, with every assignment also the teachers face new design challenges. With the development of new technologies the landscape of design is constantly changing. In this changing landscape design principles still function as rules of thumb, rules that can be applied on physical products as well as user interfaces. Currently I have almost four years experience as an educator and teacher.
“Becoming a designer means practise by doing, walking through a design process over and over again”
For the project Professionals Supported - Rotterdam Open Data, also described in this case study, use cases were supported by students from several educational programmes. It struck me that education on a university level differs a lot from an academy level. Courses are way more practical and students have to be guided through the processes. Students however were inventive and I enjoyed coaching them during the case studies. When the project finished I was asked to redesign and teach the course ‘Information Architecture and Interaction Design’, after which I continued my work as a teacher and started redesigning and teaching multiple courses at the faculty of Media Technology.
Brainstorming session with students and a whiteboard explanation on UI patterns.
“Sweat has to stand on the back of the students, not on the back of the teacher”
During my second year I started with a half year training to earn my didactical degree in teaching and coaching students. The course educated on how to design varied lectures that take into account the attention span of the audience. Sweat has to stand on the back of the students, not on the back of the teacher. Lectures therefore have to contain practical assignments with which students can practise. The assignments have to vary enough to address the different learning styles of the students in the classroom. The choice between summative and formative review approaches has to be made, in order to provide students with proper feedback and feedforward. In several role play sessions student coaching was practised through structured conversation formats.
In the last four years I have taught and created multiple courses, among which: Human Centered Software Engineering, Information Analysis and Interaction Design, User Interface Design, User Interface Evaluation, Ubiquitous Computing, Search Engine Optimisation, Accessibility and Making. Besides these courses I also coached students during several projects i.e.: Media Lab, Minor Urban Interaction Design, Minor Making for Professionals and Minor Human Experience Design.
“The entire first and second year of the curriculum were redesigned into a new form of education were students can plan and determine their own learning path”
Two first year student projects in the IoT Contextual Learning Environment.
Recently our team redesigned the entire first and second year curriculum into a new form of educating and coaching. The name of the study changed into Creative Media and Game Technologies and the whole set up of the courses was renewed. In the first year students only have three main courses, programming, design and philosophy and one project per quarter. Part of the redesign is that students can plan and determine their own learning path. The theory is divided into twenty building blocks and students can decide for themselves which block they want to assess and at which time in the curriculum they want to assess it. During the second year, programming is the only standard course, students can choose their own specialisation in design, research, entrepreneurship or philosophy and the projects have a duration of a semester. After each semester the work of each individual student is assessed with criteria matching the specialisation they have chosen.
Currently I’m especially coaching students during their projects, a form of project management that is very inspiring and keeps me up to date on recent innovations and technologies. As a designer I’m teaching students that become developers, I’m therefore continuously trying to educate myself to learn to code in order to understand their processes and help them with their design challenges.