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Loughborough University
Department of Design and Technology
Abstract of a paper presented at IDATER99 (1999).

Using electronic design process portfolios in networked learning

Charles Burnette
The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, USA


The Design Link for Art and Science project at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA USA has involved four middle schools, an art museum, a science museum and University staff in a collaborative effort to apply design thinking to the teaching of art and science using electronic media, the internet and videoconferencing technologies. The project required development, implementation and assessment in one year of curriculum, technology training, and classroom application.

Most of the teachers involved were unfamiliar with design, and technology was not in place at the project's start. Computer-based tools to support design activity, with or without Internet connectivity, were developed. These templates, into which drawings, text, pictures, video and clipart could be easily inserted, were organised to support different modes of design thinking. Teachers learned about designing by using the tools to plan and present their classroom projects. The project portfolios they prepared were then developed by their students into self-assessed electronic "design process portfolios". These multimedia files were exchanged through e-mail, presented and discussed through videoconferencing, and saved to an accessible Intranet server.

Keywords: designing and learning, project-based learning, design technology, teaching and learning, cross-curricular, collaboration

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