Perceptions of Digital Fabrication in Design Education: Skills, Confidence, Motivation, and Enjoyment

Georgi V. Georgiev, Vijayakumar Nanjappan, Hernan Casakin, Sohail Ahmed Soomro, Iván Sánchez Milara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Education in digital fabrication design is characterized by a dynamic project-based learning environment, where ideas are materialized into prototypes. This environment affects the way design activities are conducted, the content that is learned, and the types of outcomes. However, existing research into digital fabrication curricula focuses on the outcomes produced by students. Not much is known about students’ thoughts and beliefs regarding their learning. To gain insight into this learning experience, we investigated the self-perceptions of students in a digital fabrication course. The course targets first-year university students and was delivered in a hybrid online and in-person mode. It is designed to prepare students to create simple interactive physical prototypes using mechanical, electrical, and software components. In this study we delivered two surveys, one at the beginning of the course and the other at the end of the course. Four psychological measures were investigated, including self-perceived skills, confidence, motivation, and enjoyment, each represented by five technological dimensions. These five dimensions were 2D and 3D design, electronics, programming, and the use of tools and devices in digital fabrication. We found that while students’ skills and confidence in performing a variety of digital fabrication activities significantly increased, motivation and enjoyment were unchanged or, in some cases decreased. Moreover, a positive correlation was observed between perceived skills and performance in the course. Self-reported skills and confidence were related at the end of the course, as were enjoyment and motivation. The results also showed that enjoyment and motivation were not associated with course performance. Intervention programs in higher education aimed at digital fabrication courses in design may benefit from considering the findings of the study. Important aspects to consider in future learning interventions are various ways to increase course motivation without sacrificing skill development.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of NordDesign 2022
Subtitle of host publicationHow Product and Manufacturing Design Enable Sustainable Companies and Societies
EditorsN.H. Mortensen, C.T. Hansen, M. Deininger
ISBN (Electronic)9781912254170
StatePublished - 2022
EventNordDesign 2022: How Product and Manufacturing Design Enable Sustainable Companies and Societies - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 16 Aug 202218 Aug 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of NordDesign 2022: How Product and Manufacturing Design Enable Sustainable Companies and Societies

Conference

ConferenceNordDesign 2022: How Product and Manufacturing Design Enable Sustainable Companies and Societies
Country/TerritoryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period16/08/2218/08/22

Keywords

  • FabLab
  • design cognition
  • design education
  • digital fabrication
  • prototyping

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