Educating designers from Generation Y - Challenges and alternatives

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


The paper discusses the learner characteristics and the corresponding teaching strategies that can be applied to the education of Generation Y (Gen Y) - the cohort born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. Experienced with digital technology from their early childhood and exposed to tremendous amount of information which can be instantly accessed, Gen Y students are highly demanding of their education. This poses the challenge of updating and adapting the teaching to their changing learning needs and expectations. Based on the findings of a survey on the specific profile of our students concerning their technological background, interests and preferences, we have come to the conclusion that lectures and seminars do not provide the optimal learning environment. We were motivated to propose a series of extracurricular activities built on the teaching material of the disciplines Form-formation and Theory of composition. The paper reports our teaching experience of several systematically selected educational formats brought together under the name "Student scientific-educational forums". They include research papers, debates, conferences, creative workshops and virtual exhibitions. By introducing these activities we aim to enhance learning in the two disciplines, to engage students actively in the educational process, to enable them to discover by themselves what they need to know and to link the theoretical studies with practical design problems. In conclusion we evaluate the quality and effectiveness of these new teaching strategies. Furthermore we discuss how students' academic development is affected and how the implementation of the proposed activities results in more successful learning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
Subtitle of host publicationDesign Education and Human Technology Relations, E and PDE 2014
EditorsWessel Wits, Erik Bohemia, Wouter Eggink, Arthur Eger, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson
PublisherInstitution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781904670568
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event16th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2014 - Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 4 Sep 20145 Sep 2014


Conference16th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Education

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