WIT Press

A Training Model To Develop Design Skills In The Virtual Design Studio


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978 kb


F. Olmos


The design studio is not a common classroom. Its learning model, ‘learning by doing’, requires practices to be integrated with theoretical knowledge if they are to be internalised by the student. Therefore ‘putting into practice’ is the keystone for arts and design education in this tradition. Design training consists of a ‘reflective practice’ with the knowledge, based on physical media such as sketches, drawings and models that will lead design students to develop the skill of ‘reflection-in-action’. With the introduction of digital media in the design studio, quantitative and qualitative changes in design training and its practice are to be expected. However, currently there is little understanding of how to incorporate digital and virtual media in the design studio as learning tools, nor of the training value of e-learning technologies in this context. In this paper an experimental introductory design course in a virtual studio is discussed. The results answer some aspects of these two questions. This experience was carried out as a PhD research experiment at the Faculty of Architecture and Arts of the Universidad de Los Andes in Merida, Venezuela. It was aimed to test the feasibility of using e-learning environments for design training in distance learning and presence learning. The e-learning environment, Moodle, was used as a curriculum management system for the theory, as well as for a set of online training programs. The gathering of data to evaluate the course was carried out through two drawing tests, a questionnaire, interviews, student portfolios and direct observation of student performance in the virtual learning environment. The results reveal both the advantages and weaknesses of the e-learning environment tested in the context of a design studio. They also show a consistent development of design abilities in the students who accomplish the vast majority of the training activities in the virtual design studio. Keywords: e-learning, virtual studio, design training, virtual environment.


e-learning, virtual studio, design training, virtual environment.