Special Issue of Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education: Blended Learning in Architecture and Design Education (Jan 2016)

Website: http://journals.aau.dk/index.php/pbl/announcement/view/71 Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15 January 2016 The aim of thi...

Website: http://journals.aau.dk/index.php/pbl/announcement/view/71
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15 January 2016

The aim of this special issue is to elucidate current practices and experiences of mixing traditional, physical, location-specific and face-to-face modes of learning with online learning formats – altogether known as blended learning. In the design disciplines, this poses particular challenges, as design learning has traditionally been deeply rooted in practices which involve interaction with both people – peers and instructors – and physical matter.

The focus in architecture and design education on solving design problems through project-oriented learning processes makes the field a perfect probe for investigating problem-based learning. As opposed to traditional learning formats in higher education such as lectures, seminars and colloquia which are still widely used in most higher education programs, architecture and design education, as a form of problem-based learning, has always been focused on the studio.

In creative and arts-related educational programs, the studio is a space for experimentation and creative development. The studio is a physical space, and rather than reading and writing, students perform design enquiries through drawing and modeling. And learning is haptic–kinesthetic and visual–spatial, rather than verbal–linguistic or logical–mathematical. As such, architecture and design education is particularly interesting in the context of blended learning, compared to other fields of study in higher education.

Slightly caricatured, new online learning formats attempt to transport traditional learning formats into the digital media. Lectures become videos, seminars become chat rooms, and colloquia become online forums for the exchange and commenting of work in progress. Even if the quality and effectiveness of online learning may be debated, it therefore somehow seems to address the teaching needs and traditions of mainstream higher education, rather than those of the problem-based learning formats of architecture and design education.

But even if online technologies to emulate drawing and modeling do exist, they do not seem to have found their way into online teaching by any substantial measure. Therefore, it is tempting to believe, that introducing blended learning into architecture and design education may cause rupture to well-established ways of teaching in this field. So where does it leave – or take – studio-based architecture and design education? Does it subtract from the long-standing qualities of the studio and it’s important physical presence of both people and matter? Or does it add new and enriching qualities to the well-established learning formats of architecture and design education?

Those are the questions we seek to address.

The themes that we suggest for this special issue are:

  • New course formats as a result of new online technologies
  • Distance learning and new balances of on-/off-campus learning activities
  • International collaboration through online technologies
  • New methodologies for analysis and/or design
  • Pilot learning design projects – successes, failures and lessons learned

Key Dates:

  • 15/01/2016: Submission of abstract/indication of interest
  • 01/03/2016: Notification of acceptance for submitting full paper or case
  • 01/07/2016: Submission of full paper or case
  • 01/09/2016: Reviewers’ response and editorial decision
  • 01/10/2016: Submission of revised papers or cases
  • 01/11/2016: Issue to be published

About the Guest Editor:

Nicolai Steinø holds a MA Arch, and a PhD in Urban Design from the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. He is an experienced design educator and develops blended learning formats at Aalborg University, Denmark, where he is an associate professor.



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The Trouble with Normal...: Special Issue of Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education: Blended Learning in Architecture and Design Education (Jan 2016)
Special Issue of Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education: Blended Learning in Architecture and Design Education (Jan 2016)
The Trouble with Normal...
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