The project Virtual Product Development challenges student groups to present their results to potential investors and peers in a ‘Dragon’s Den’-like setting. Next to this result-oriented assessment, group exams address the academic quality of the work. Students are thus actively involved in distinguishing between the different perspectives on their own work. Moreover, the project relates to ten mini-courses on relevant topics; each student follows six mini-courses, while the group has to cover all mini-courses to stress topic integration in the project. One additional mini-course is ‘empty’, challenging students to deXne learning goals based on the needs in the project groups.
The project challenges students (and staff) to be versatilists; switching between different topics in the project, averts ‘consuming’ education, and stimulates active participation and contribution to achieve optimal results. For example, formulating learning goals and negotiation about them for one of the mini-courses involves students in blended learning.
The aim of this module is to learn how to deal with the wide variety of tools available for designers. The emphasis is on being able to make an underpinned choice between the various options, and the ability to integrate the selected tools within the project.
The project groups have to deXne an assignment themselves. This is a re\ection of the group members, everybody must maximize not only his/her contribution, but also his/her personal development. Each student will compose its own education and has to debate and discuss the division of who will acquire which knowledge. A balance must be found between the interests of individuals, and the beneXts for the group.
All tools aim at implementing the provided knowledge directly in the project, therefore the tools have no course speciXc assignment. The tools are provided as masterclasses to generate knowledge on, gain skills in and discuss content of a speciXc expertise. Peer-learning by transferring knowledge and information between students is essential for a group with fragmented expertise. The output from one can be the input for another. No individual student can follow all the tools, this forces them to explain their gained knowledge in such a way that another student can utilize it in another tool.
This module is developed in a period of one year, and was initiated by educators (Roy Damgrave and Eric Lutters). During the development of the project the expertise of the educational services, Industrial Design Engineering teachers, students and the programme director were used.
The integration of single-expertise tools in a multi-expertise project enhances the relationship between theoretical knowledge and practical skills. By putting the knowledge into a project immediately, the dependencies and opportunities are directly visible, without the need to make separate assignments for each Xeld of expertise. The relationship between different expertise is facilitated throughout all educational elements, but these relationships are not emphasized nor imposed. The challenge to Xnd these potential relations forces students to critically review their intended activities and planning. Students and teachers stimulate and challenge each other by working in an environment with a minimal set of rules.
ir. Roy Damgrave
dr. ir. Eric Lutters
Roy Damgrave, +31 (0) 53 489 5364