Abstract

Many scholars in the design research field are involved in (post)-graduate design education on the one hand, and some type of corporate education on the other. While there is a growing body of knowledge on educating design students, there is a gap in this research field with regard to the education of non-design professionals. This type of education has become more important now it is increasingly recognized that design can support innovation in businesses, so-called design led innovation. In this paper we focus on educating Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). We propose a learner-centred approach to the development of education, which means that insights in the learners’ needs are used to develop programs on design-led innovation. To illustrate this approach we present how the learning needs of SMEs were investigated through the qualitative evaluation of a ‘Building Design Competency’ program. From this study can be concluded that SMEs have specific emotional, social and cognitive characteristics that influence their learning needs. These needs include trustworthy course providers and instructors, a learning community of non-competing peers, customized stimulation of a deep learning approach, and adjustment of teaching material to their initial level of customer and business insights.

Keywords:

Design education; Design Capability; Design led innovation; Learner-centred education; Small to Medium Sized Enterprises

Share

COinS
 
Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

The Learning Needs of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises for Design Led Innovation

Many scholars in the design research field are involved in (post)-graduate design education on the one hand, and some type of corporate education on the other. While there is a growing body of knowledge on educating design students, there is a gap in this research field with regard to the education of non-design professionals. This type of education has become more important now it is increasingly recognized that design can support innovation in businesses, so-called design led innovation. In this paper we focus on educating Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). We propose a learner-centred approach to the development of education, which means that insights in the learners’ needs are used to develop programs on design-led innovation. To illustrate this approach we present how the learning needs of SMEs were investigated through the qualitative evaluation of a ‘Building Design Competency’ program. From this study can be concluded that SMEs have specific emotional, social and cognitive characteristics that influence their learning needs. These needs include trustworthy course providers and instructors, a learning community of non-competing peers, customized stimulation of a deep learning approach, and adjustment of teaching material to their initial level of customer and business insights.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.