What can you say about teaching design when learning design is now so easy?

Patrick McNamara
2013 Conference

This paper explores the possible future role and approaches in design education in a technological engaged constructivist/connectivist pedagogical environment. This environment is one that encourages independence and responsibility in students for their direction and individual means of learning but negates the authority of the single teacher/expert in favour of the interconnected cloud of social and digital based systems. This invites us to reconsider the ‘ignorant schoolmaster’ and revisit the idea that it might be better to teach what we don’t know as a shared inquisitiveness with the student and not play out the role of central knowledge source. With access to near unlimited information, this sets up a possibility of unmediated construction of meaning not moderated by any limits. The continual emergence of destabilising educational forms including e-learning, MOOCs, video lectures, flipped classroom, gamification, mobile learning, etc. have institutions floundering to find methods (typically using more digital technologies) to give the impression of relevance and to stay in touch with the digital matrix of students. Despite the many sceptics of these disruptive forms they will inevitably trickle down to transform the learning event and the function of the teacher.

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About the author

After working for 10 years in a number of large institutions and business enterprises in areas of graphic design, public relations, advertising and education I moved to teach at Charles Sturt University – Wagga Wagga. I have been a lecturer in graphic design within the university for twenty years in a time of digital expansion it allowed me to experiment with various media which I have applied to internal and distance learning resources. I am currently a candidate in a Doctorate of Communication looking at e-learning and the role of the teacher.