The development of an effective learning environment in higher education for product design
This thesis is concerned with the development of an effective learning environment in higher education for product design.
The research and development undertaken focuses predominantly on the BSc (Hons) course in Computer Aided Product Design (BSc CAPD) at the University of Wolverhampton, in the UK. Conceived in 1989 as a collaborative venture between the School of Engineering and the School of Art and Design, it was in the vanguard of a new wave of product design initiatives in the higher education sector that had a multidisciplinary approach. It was one of the first degrees within the institution to adopt
an integrated approach, integrating engineering design from the former with industrial design from the latter, developing a mixture of technical and design skills using the computer. It aims at developing an employable graduate designer with a richer blend of skills and possessing a greater awareness of the relationship between Design and Manufacture in the specialist field of Computer Aided Product Design. The research documents the growth of Product Design courses in the UK over this period of time and a comparison is made of the BSc CAPD course with the Industrial Design Engineering degree at the Technical University of Delft in Holland, considered
exemplary in its field. The thesis reviews BSc CAPD's integrated approach over the first decade in terms of
providing an effective learning environment for product design and achieving the aims and objectives of the course, as set out in Chapter 2 (18.104.22.168 Aims) and (22.214.171.124 Course
Objectives). The effective learning environment in product design is achieved and documented in the thesis as follows: -
The integration of engineering and art and design staff to deliver the curriculum." Education linked to Product Design, the project base, especially live projects, in providing the vehicle to BSc CAPD's integrated approach to curriculum
development, teaching and learning. Integration of computers into the design curriculum. Technology supported learning in product design. The evaluation of Video Conferencing in a distance learning environment and the development of a
Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) package / tutor system for teaching 2D CAD. Creativity / Innovation in Product Design.
Industrial needs for designers (Designer's Skills). Developing a student's taxonomyof Design skills (Designer's checklist of skills).