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: Loh, Leon
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Kyushu University, Faculty of Design, Japan
Section: Professional perspectives for design students in a pluralistic future
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.56
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


Design and Technology (D&T) and Technology Education (TE) are commonly offered as general education subjects in secondary school education in Europe, America, Oceania, and Asia. In D&T and TE, students are exposed to design areas such as visual communication design, product design, and textile/fashion. The design nature of the D&T and TE subject enables students to experience and participate in inventive and creative processes to develop new ideas. In Singapore, the framework for 21 Century Competencies (21CC) and Students Outcomes was formalised in 2010 as one of the most significant efforts in 21CC education. Aligning with the 21CC framework, D&T in Singapore aimed to cultivate students' critical thinking through design-and-make projects. In design-and-make projects, students are required to identify design problems, ideate, develop ideas, and realize a working prototype. In design-and-make projects, students record their thought processes in design journals. When assessing students' design journals, there is a lack of evaluation methods to evaluate the quality of students' critical thinking. Focusing on Singapore D&T, this study aims to conceptualize an evaluation method that may assess students' quality of critical thinking during the ideation process through design journals. This study sought to answer two central questions. Firstly, how do we unpack students' critical thinking process during ideation through the design journal? Secondly, upon unpacking students' critical thinking processes, how do we evaluate the quality of students' critical thinking processes during ideation through the design journals? The research adopts a qualitative approach to structure this study as a case study using a Singapore government school. Singa Secondary School (the school's name used is a pseudonym) was selected for this study due to the progressive D&T program that it has established. A design journal done by an upper secondary student in Design Project A for a D&T Express course is used as a study object to test the effectiveness of the evaluation method established by the current study. Based on the literature review, the critical thinking model by Paul and Elder was adopted to dissect students' reasoning processes in the design journal. Using the required student outcomes for Design Project A, evaluation criteria to evaluate students' reasoning process was contextualized and articulated using the concepts of Intellectual Standards by Paul and Elder. The student's reasoning process in ideation in the study object was evaluated using the evaluation criteria established. This study showed that students' reasoning processes could be dissected and evaluated by adopting the evaluation method established in this study. The evaluation method conceptualized in this study provides a flexible method that can be adopted in different design-and-make projects. However, to contextualize and articulate the evaluation criteria accurately, the student outcomes for the project need to be clearly articulated. The current evaluation method may still be subjected to teachers' subjective assessment. Thus, standardization meetings among teachers will be necessary to achieve consistency in evaluation by different teachers.

Keywords: critical thinking, design education, design and technology, ideation, assessment


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