This paper presents insights from a new course format, in which design practitioners from all over the world participate online together with master design students, who work both online and offline. This case study shows that such a double blended form of education is motivating and successful for both groups. Also, the highly international character of this format benefits the learning content well. The online key-term tool is well received. The interaction between practitioners and students via video conferencing and peer feedback is appreciated from both sides.

The course gives working design practitioners the opportunity to learn and benefit from the master students' work; their reflections on design, their application of the theory provided, and their use of a range of methods. Furthermore, they could save time in their practices as we offer them also the opportunity of pitching a design challenge that our master students could choose to work with during the course. Their fresh view on 'what design can do' in their own assignments helps them to discover new possibilities for new product and service design.

The combination of online and offline motivates design students to follow the course and stay on track. The regular activities, such as weekly lectures, templates, and discussions on the online forum supposed to help them to clearly guide them and motivate them, discouraging postponements. Furthermore, the contact with professionals broadens their scope and support them building on their network.

For design educators, this format is an efficient and effective way to teach. The video lectures – partly given by invited speakers – motivate the educator to prepare and record with a quality that allows for reuse. Hence, the investment made for the development of the course material could be justified.

The results are based on two runs of the course (2017/2018 and 2018/2019), including feedback from the participants via pre- and post-questionnaires, semi-structured interviews with participants, and group discussions, from the course developers (three student assistants, one ICT course assistant, and one faculty online course coordinator), and from an interview with the initiator and instructor of the course (author).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngineering and Product Design Education conference
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Sep 2019

ID: 55718714