THE DESIGN STUDIO AS A NETWORK – APPLICATION OF CONNECTIVISM IN THE PLANNING OF AN ONLINE LEARNING SPACE
Editor: Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon
Author: Petrova, Miroslava Nadkova
Institution: Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico
Section: Meeting 21st Century Challenges in Further and Higher Education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2021.84
The design studio is the core element in the design curriculum where students gain key knowledge and skills. When the traditional classroom course had to be transferred to an online modality enforced by covid-19 pandemics, re-conceptualization of the structure and contents was required in order to ensure the quality of the teaching and students’ satisfaction. Based on the premise that the contents should not be simply adapted to an online version but an entirely new learning experience should be created, the redesign of the class was inspired by the principles of connectivism. In his seminal work ‘Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age’ (2005) Siemens questioned the viability of behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism as theories adequately addressing the learning processes in the digital age. He advanced connectivism as an alternative learning theory recognizing the societal shifts and the inevitable impact of technology on learning processes. This new framework for understanding learning states that knowledge is derived externally of the individual through a process of connecting nodes and patterns recognition. These abilities are considered especially important to prepare design students for the challenges of the profession within the context of the fourth industrial revolution. The paper explores the potential of connectivism as a holistic approach to the planning of the contents of an online design studio. It describes the process of designing the course structure, objectives, activities and evaluation and discusses the challenges and problems encountered in the creation of a connectivist learning environment and its implementation. The advantages of the networked design studio were verified in a survey on the perceptions of the students in regard to their satisfaction and the effectiveness of their knowledge acquisition.