CALL FOR WORKSHOP PARTICIPATION
IFIP WG 13.1 HCI Education workshop 'How Designers Teach'
Interact 2005 Conference
September 12, 2005
Organisers: Konrad Baumann, Paula Kotzé, John Zimmerman
Position paper deadline: June 4th, 2005
Notification of acceptance: June 6th, 2005
The workshop "How Designers Teach" is intended to be a discussion forum on different issues in design and HCI education.
Between 2002 and 2004 an extensive study was carried out based on in-depth interviews with design educators. The results of this study are available in form of K. Baumann's doctoral thesis.
The aims of the workshop are (1) to give feedback about the outcomes of the study to the contributors and the HCI education community, and (2) to generate further discussion that should lead to a better insight in the field of didactics of design and HCI.
1. Type of workshop
While the workshop is a part of the Interact 2005 conference, the workshop is also based on activities supported by the IFIP Working Group 13.1 on HCI Education, the CONVIVIO network of excellence, and the International Institute of Information Design (IIID).
2. Workshop description
This workshop will be a discussion forum on different issues in design and HCI education. Between 2002 and 2004 the organizers carried out an extensive study based on in-depth interviews with design educators. The results of this study are available in form of K. Baumann's doctoral thesis.
This thesis is based on the assumption that the methodical heritage acquired from science and engineering can become a stumbling block in an environment where the work of a designer is needed, i.e. in the new disciplines of user interface design and interaction design or human-computer interaction (HCI). Didactics of these disciplines should better be rooted in the methodology of design education.
So starting from Mitch Kapor's (1990) postulate that "we need to create a professional discipline of software design. (...) Software designers should be trained more like architects than like computer scientists", the aim was to find didactical approaches specific for design education and to explore whether and how they can be used for the new design disciplines related to information and communication technology.
An interview-based study among educators in architecture and other design disciplines was carried out. In this study eleven in-depth interviews based on a guideline with seventy-five questions were carried out, recorded on tape, transcribed and if necessary translated into English.
The following people contributed to the study:
Konrad Baumann (author of the study),
Peter Purgathofer (supervisor of the study),
John Zimmerman, Pelle Ehn, Orhan Kipcak, Günter Domenig, Michael Szyszkowitz, Andreas Gruber, Joseph Gründler, Gerhard Heufler, Urs Hirschberg, Fiona Raby, Rob van Kranenburg (interviewees).
At the beginning of the content analysis the large amount of text was sorted by a number-based approach. After clustering the information a comparison with literature on didactics and design theory was made. Related work is Lawson's (1984, 1997) "How Designers Think" and Gedenryd's (1998) "How Designers Work", among others.
Among the highlights of this study are findings about teaching methods in design like master classes or studios, the evaluation of project work in so-called final critique sessions or "final crits" involving external experts, training methods for design like the handover of projects, where an exercise is divided into distinct phases and the artefact is repeatedly handed from one student to another one, the important roles of interdisciplinary work and student exchange.
In general no distinct schools of design education but a large variety of different methods could be identified. Every educator combines them to his or her individual portfolio. Individualism and the importance of the educator's personal way of teaching is the only common denominator. Design education is definitely in a period of transition mainly driven by the technological changes.
In order to present the outcomes appropriately the thesis features a variety of overview tables and detailed visual representations of the results of this study. During the planned workshop the organisers intend to present these results verbally and with the help of the overview tables to the workshop attendees. The workshop time will be split into dedicated discussion time slots for specific topics like issues of grading, group work, theory versus practice. The outcomes of the workshop will be summarised in at least one publication.
3. Workshop schedule
The workshop is planned to be a one-day workshop. The schedule will split into the following parts (responsible persons for this part are in brackets):
* Presentation of previous IFIP WG13.1 workshop results (Paula Kotzé)
* Introduction of the participants (all)
* Presentation of the results of the study "How Designers Teach" (Konrad Baumann)
* Findings of design theory relevant for HCI education (John Zimmerman)
* Brainstorming session, selection of topics of interest, break into four groups (all)
* Lunch break
* Group work in four groups led by the organisers (Baumann, Kotzé, Zimmerman)
* Presentations of the group results (Baumann, Kotzé, Zimmerman)
* Wrap up and future activities (Paula Kotzé)
4. Expected attendees
The expected audience are educators in various related disciplines at universities and design schools. The disciplines range from architectural design to interaction design, psychology and software engineering. A major part of the attendees is expected to come from the supporting organisations, i.e. IFIP WG 13.1, CONVIVIO, and IIID.
5. Organising persons
Konrad Baumann, Department of Information Design, FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences, Graz, Austria (secretary of IFIP WG 13.1 on HCI Education) [log in to unmask]
Paula Kotzé, Interim Director, School of Computing, University of South Africa, South Africa (chair of IFIP WG 13.1 on HCI Education) [log in to unmask]
John Zimmerman, HCI Institute and School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA [log in to unmask]
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