DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Freimane, Aija
Series: E&PDE
Institution: TU Dublin, Ireland
Section: Professional perspectives for design students in a pluralistic future
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.42
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


This study analyses emotional wellbeing and the learning process of design students in a globally distributed learning environment. Currently students are known for their capabilities to find information, to learn and think, to socialize and to behave in a global network, but difficulties operating in a distributed product development process have emerged. Global co-habituation via social networks, blogging, and other user-generated internet content have helped to connect student partner teams in different time zones and cultures, but have raised questions of learning practices within pluralistic, co-habituative and virtual learning environment in design. Uncertainty of design process as a learning object, tackling outcomes from each of the design stages that are informing the subsequent design stage and performing from two different ‘personas’ (the client and the designer) by not knowing prior which role they will assume has contrinuted to emotional ill-being amongst students. During the learning process via distributed product development students were constantly surveyed and questioned to understand how they felt and what was their emotional wellbeing point in a learning ecosystem which they experience and practice for the first time. The analysis of learning process outlines that it is crucial to have supportive and enabling technologies and lecturers for virtual learning to create a positive, global distributed, learning experience. The learning process aimed to enable students to work successfully with various organisational members in the distributed product development process while emotional underpinning of the learning process was described as frustrating and confusing.

Keywords: design education, distributed learning environment, emotional wellbeing


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