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What Are Students’ Perceptions of Design Research and Approaches?

Luximon, Y and Sheen, KA (2017) What Are Students’ Perceptions of Design Research and Approaches? The Japanese Journal of Ergonomics, 53 (Supple). pp. 548-551. ISSN 0549-4974

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Abstract

Approaches and methods used in the design research process have been discussed over the years. Yet, most of the discussions did not take into account the perceptions of the students. While a fundamental understanding of design research may assist students in the real world, those students may fail to apply the foundations to a complex design problem or only use those methods they feel comfortable with and deem useful. To offer insight on this particular area, a paper questionnaire was distributed to more than one hundred design students in order to understand students' perceptions on design research and their habits. Findings showed that design students felt that research was important to their design process and they spent more than 40% of time on researching in their design process. In general, students believe that more research is necessary at the beginning of the design process, such as the stages of planning, defining problem and parameters. In addition, undergraduate and graduate students viewed various research methods in different regards. The understanding of the perceptions of current undergraduate and graduate students regarding design research will provide teachers with a better understanding of the influence of the students' background on the design process and how to cope with those influences. The results can be used to improve the design education.

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