Engaging design students through a video-based tutorial system


  • Rebecca Francis
  • Joshua McCarthy


This study explores the efficacy of a video-based tutorial system within second year design education. It reports on a pilot study conducted in semester one, 2010, using an existing academic platform, the second year design core course Technology in Design, in the School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Adelaide. Over one semester, 118 design students, including 27 international students, and 11 Graduate Diploma students, were engaged in the course which utilised traditional face-to-face teaching mechanisms (including site visits, lectures and studios) integrated with some online components (including a robust course website and discussion boards). The learning was supplemented by an online video-based resource, 24/7 Bec. Each video, ten in total, addressed a different design communication skill and was posted on a Blackboard learning management system (LMS). The evaluation process involved intermittent feedback from students throughout the semester, a post-semester survey, and project-specific reflections at the completion of the course. The 24/7 availability and the video-based format of the resource conformed to both the asynchronous learning characteristics of mature-age students and the ‘anytime, anywhere’ work attitude of Generation-Y students, while also negating common learning hurdles, such as language barriers, of international students. It proved highly beneficial to staff as it eliminated the need to reiterate ‘basic skills’ teaching within class time, allowing studio sessions to be better utilised engaged in face-to-face development of design projects. The project will expand in 2011 to include other courses and programs within the faculty. 


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