DS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2019), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 12th -13th September 2019

Year: 2019
Editor: Bohemia, Erik; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Buck, Lyndon; Brisco, Ross; Evans, Dorothy; Grierson, Hilary; Ion, William; Whitfield, Robert Ian
Author: Brisco, Ross (1); Whitfield, Robert Ian (1); Grierson, Hilary (1); Bohemia, Erik (2)
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom; 2: Academy for Design Innovation Management, United Kingdom
Section: Innovation 1
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.35199/epde2019.73
ISBN: 978-1-912254-05-7


As technologies evolve students expect to be able to utilise the same functionality they use for personal and social communication for their academic and professional communication. To support students in their understanding of the benefits of global collaboration and practical implementation of good practices, educators must ensure that they are able to offer meaningful and realistic opportunities to experience real-world design scenarios. In a distributed setting, global collaboration is supported by collaborative design technologies and which students should experience to build their skills in digital literacy. Therefore, educators have a responsibility to ensure where available that state-of-the-art practices are being imparted to students.

The challenges of integrating technology in global design classes have been published in the literature which could be utilised by the wider design community to improve practices, but it is unclear if this knowledge makes its way back to the classroom across institutions and then is utilised to improve and iterate on current teaching practices. There are many situations within design education where this might be possible for project-based learning (PBL) classes such as classes in global design. One approach to achieve this is by utilising knowledge from the literature and from student experiences during global design workshop sessions and asking students to engage in critically analysing their own collaborative design practices. This is the approach taken in his research which focused on two global design classes.

This paper documents the results of four workshops across two institutions and two distributed design programs. These participants were asked to identify the challenges of distributed design, the functionality of technologies to overcome the challenges and guidance on how best to perform distributed design to best help future students. 17 challenges, 10 functionalities and 8 guidelines were developed. The identification of challenges, functionalities and subsequent guidance created can be utilised to assist future students and educators of distributed design. Analysis of gaps in the knowledge identify where theories have not been transferred from literature to the classroom and further studies of literature may help to identify what is missing and how best to fill the gaps in knowledge. In the future, it would be beneficial to improve how this knowledge is identified and delivered to students utilising the workshops as a delivery mechanism. The workshops also present a novel way to engage students in analysing their own collaborative work practices and discussing how they might improve in a distributed design setting with the help of available technologies.

Keywords: global design, distributed collaboration, online teamwork, project-based learning


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