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Developing meta-cognitive awareness of design process
ConnectedED 2010 (2010)
  • Mike McAuley

According to Lawson (2006), “One of the weaknessess of the traditional studio is that students, in paying too much attention to the end product of their labours, fail to reflect sufficiently on their process” (p.7). Within a design education context, lack of reflection can, it is argued here, lead to repetition of past mistakes due to an inablity to recognise the interrelatedness and significance of the various stages of designing. So the starting premis here is that if students can develop more awareness of their process, they may be more able to identify both their strengths and weaknesses. If students can also relate their process to the learning outcomes then a cross-checking system may facilitate not only meta-cognition of process but also greater awareness of how process can be more effectively related to achieving the learning outcomes. So, explicit awareness, rather than tacit understanding can be achieved. This study reports findings of the first cycle of an action research investigation into design student meta-cognition. It does this through discussing how the formal inclusion of a design process map can be used to assist illustration students develop meta-cognitive awareness of their approach to a design task in relation to the learning outcomes of an assignment. While there are various maps which describe the design process; design procedure- problem analysis-design solution (Edelson, 2002); analysis-synthesis-appraisal-decision (Markus/Mayer, 1969, 1970); problem structuring, preliminary design, refinement and detailing (Cross, 2001); problem identification and definition, task planning and management, research and evaluation, ideation, idea selection and decision making, action and implementation, reflection in action, evaluation of process and progress (Wilson 2002); Swann’s (2002) model problem-analysis- synthesis-execution-production-evaluation was chosen to broadly represent the various stages of designing.

  • meta-cognition,
  • design process,
  • action research
Publication Date
Winter July 1, 2010
Citation Information
Mike McAuley. "Developing meta-cognitive awareness of design process" ConnectedED 2010 (2010)
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