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A task based approach to global design education

Wodehouse, Andrew and Breslin, Caroline and Farrugia, Philip and Grierson, Hilary and Ion, William and Sonalkar, N. and deVere, I (2008) A task based approach to global design education. In: International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education 2008, 2008-09-04 - 2008-09-05.

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This paper provides a new perspective for managing and delivering a global design class, and a clear alternative to the traditional joint project for participating institutes. The ‘task-based approach’ used to structure a Global Design class at the University of Strathclyde is described. This entailed the creation of a series of short design exercises to be run in conjunction with three partner institutions: the University of Malta in Msida, Malta; Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia; and Stanford University in Palo Alto, USA. These exercises focussed on specific aspects of distributed working, including synchronous working, asynchronous working and digital library support, according to the location and facilities afforded by each institution. This provides a number of pedagogical and organisation benefits. Students are required to take a more strategic approach to their design work, developing a higher evaluative understanding of the tools and processes required to produce a successful design. Staff members have a greater level of control afforded by a shared collaborative class component, including assessment, timetabling and learning objectives, rather than simply having a joint project. This potentially makes global design classes a more flexible and viable option for institutions interested in participating in such programmes