SELF ASSESSMENT METHOD FOR PRODUCT DESIGN STUDENTS
Self-assessment in education is a well-known and widespread method that help students to be a realistic judge of their performance and to improve their work. This paper describes the objectives, methods, tools and results obtained in a 7-day teaching experience carried out within the Product Design course of the Master's Degree at the University of Venice. This exercise represents the warm-up phase within a semester course in which the students develop three projects. The objective of the self-assessment exercise is to make students aware of their level of ability and autonomy in the development of the entire product design process. Furthermore, as secondary objectives, the exercise aims to put the students in a position to experiment at first-hand:
i) project management
ii) formal quality self-evaluation
iii) 3D modelling and drafting
vi) visual communication skills in creating a poster presentation
v) 3D printing by themselves or with external service providers, thus taking into account aspects of the time and economic resources required.
To do that, we simulated the students engaging as professional designers to solve a specific brief. The teaching staff, as lighting producers, asked students to redesign a specific product that aesthetically reflects the brand.
The proposed exercise aims to simulate the entire design process, identifying the different activities of the designer. The different steps of the design process were transcribed into a GANTT and divided into a research phase including:
i) disassembling and studying of components,
ii) hand-drawn exploded/assembly view,
iii) making a bill of materials,
iv) detail detection with the caliber,
v) 3D modelling,
vi) mood board creation; and a design phase including:
iii) 3D modelling,
iv) technical drawings,
vi) 3D printing,
vii) poster presentation.
This contribution describes the specific activities, difficulties and results of each step, as well as the data collected by a self-assessment questionnaire submitted to the students at the end of the stage. Since industrial design is changing along with industry, and identifying the role of 21st-century product designers is not taken for granted, this exercise aims to make the students aware of their real working capacities and roles.