Designing Pedagogies of Collaboration

Learning how to collaborate effectively across distances, cultures and disciplines is one of the most important 21st century skills for a wide variety of careers including science, technology, math and engineering, which are considered to be vital to our nation’s economic success.  Collaboration is necessary both due to the global nature of the economy as well as for the purpose of tacking complex, system-level problems such as environmental sustainability.  As our economy is increasingly organized around more holistic services rather than manufacturing and products, the need for the capacity to collaborate across many fields and markets is even more pressing.  Specifically, there is need for well-developed curriculum to teach collaboration literacies such as empathy and listening as well as critique and feedback at all levels of education in both formal and informal settings.  Currently, there is great interest in the field of design, which strongly emphasizes the need for collaboration and teamwork however, while many assignments are expected to be completed in groups, for the most part, design students are never explicitly taught to collaborate.  Based on a two-year National Science Foundation funded study of collaboration with designers and design educators in four countries, this paper presents four models of collaboration in existing design curriculum in the United States and Europe.

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2 responses

  1. Thanks, Matt. I’m currently revising the article and hope to have a draft that I can circulate in the next few months. Also, thanks for the book recommendation! I’ll check it out.

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