June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Design in Engineering Education
24.1113.1 - 24.1113.14
Peer Scaffolding in Studio CoursesMotivation & Background Alternate models of teaching, beyond traditional classroom-based lectures, are animportant topic in design education. Studio-based methods have been effectively used in designeducation, but can be limited by relatively low scaffolding of student learning. This studyinvestigated studio courses open to undergraduate engineering students pursuing a minor inindustrial design (ID). Using a peer scaffolding framework, this study examines how individualstudents are guided in their design education and learning process through interaction with theirfellow students.Methodology Participants for the study came from a sample of thirty students working on a customer-based project in a studio course, as well as nine students who were developing their sketchingskills in a studio-like sketching course. Students were pursuing different majors such asengineering, industrial design, architecture, business, and liberal arts. Given the limited research in this area, a preliminary qualitative study was conducted inthe summer of 2013 using ethnographically-informed methods. Students and faculty memberswere observed during course meeting times. Seven students were formally interviewed. Dataincluded transcriptions of observations, interviews, and archival data. To ensure trustworthinessof observations and analysis, two researchers wrote notes and observations independently, andthen consulted with each other afterwards. Data analysis was guided using a scaffoldingframework informed by Bruner et al. Results The results of the study indicate that peers provide an important scaffolding role in studiocourses, particularly studio courses with limited formal assessments. Although students wereworking on individual projects, scaffolding attributes and processes, such as sharedunderstanding, ongoing diagnosis, fading support, demonstration and frustration control wererevealed. The studio environment provided a shared understanding of a collaborative rather thana competitive learning environment. Students were comfortable and willing to share half-formedideas and projects with each other. This was particularly valued by engineering students. Theopen studio structure provided ongoing diagnosis and direction for students. Peers openlyinteracted with each other, critiquing sketches and design ideas, and providing each otherinformation on alternate resources one may seek. Projects and sketches of students were hung inopen spaces. The seamless interaction between peers helped students to overcome theirfrustrations and confusions in courses that offer limited formal assessment.Conclusion & Significance Overall, the studio courses were perceived by the students to be a valuable experience,and peer scaffolding appeared to play an important role in student success. The aspect of peerscaffolding in individual projects offers the insight that all projects in a studio based courses doesnot have to be a team project for aspects of “team work skills” to come into play. This researchhelps identify peer scaffolding characteristics in an innovative engineering learning site thatmoves away from traditional curricular pedagogy.
Chowdhury, B. T., & Kusano, S. M., & Johri, A., & Sharma, A. (2014, June), Student Experiences In An Interdisciplinary Studio-Based Design Course: The Role Of Peer Scaffolding Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23046
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