Abstract

This paper presents a visual timeline-based assignment used in an undergraduate Industrial Design History, Theory and Critcism unit. The assignment was developed in order to find a better way of supporting design history learning than an exam or essay assessment. It was developed using constructive alignment and it allows design students to use their strong visual thinking skills to understand unfamiliar content, develop their visual literacy of design history, and think deeply about the links between the designs, styles, movements, events and people in their timeline. The task produced a variety of responses, from websites and electronic presentations to large paper timelines, scrolls and 3D models. These have been admired by peers and used for end of year shows and permanent displays. Questionnaires were issued to students to gain feedback about the assessment. Students stated that the visual nature of the assignment helped them to understand how different aspects of design history related to each other, assisted with retaining the information, and that it was more interesting and fun than a report or an exam. This paper explores the theories behind and the benefits of using such methods of assessment for design history courses.

Keywords:

design education, design history, visualisation, visual literacy, constructivism

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Using a visually-based assignment to reinforce and assess design history knowledge and understanding

This paper presents a visual timeline-based assignment used in an undergraduate Industrial Design History, Theory and Critcism unit. The assignment was developed in order to find a better way of supporting design history learning than an exam or essay assessment. It was developed using constructive alignment and it allows design students to use their strong visual thinking skills to understand unfamiliar content, develop their visual literacy of design history, and think deeply about the links between the designs, styles, movements, events and people in their timeline. The task produced a variety of responses, from websites and electronic presentations to large paper timelines, scrolls and 3D models. These have been admired by peers and used for end of year shows and permanent displays. Questionnaires were issued to students to gain feedback about the assessment. Students stated that the visual nature of the assignment helped them to understand how different aspects of design history related to each other, assisted with retaining the information, and that it was more interesting and fun than a report or an exam. This paper explores the theories behind and the benefits of using such methods of assessment for design history courses.

 

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