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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Design Learning
Module Code DT08003
School 79
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Charlotte Holland
Semester 2: Charlotte Holland
Autumn: Charlotte Holland
Module TeacherNo Teacher Assigned
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
The repeat assessment for this module is a 100% Design Synthesis Portfolio, where the student is required to demonstrate an understanding of design processes, inclusive of stages and functions of designerly activity and reflection on ethical design.

This module acknowledges the dual role of design as a technological activity and pedagogy. The module aligns learning theories with critical perspectives on design to form a coherent treatment of design in the post-primary technology education context. The module will explore perspectives on design from scholars such as Simon, Schön and Cross and in particular will focus on the characteristics of design, reflection-in- action and designerly ways of knowing. Coupled with the goals of technological education, the history of technology, and framed through Mitcham’s typology (technology as objects, activity, knowledge and volition), the module positions designerly activity within a construct of designing as learning. Design process models will be explored and utilised to reach design resolutions, while also capturing the associated learning opportunities.

Learning Outcomes

1. Articulate the congruence of learning and designing processes from a theoretical perspective
2. Explore design task/activities as they support the development of technological capability through conceptual, goal orientated and thematic challenges
3. Delineate design processes (iterative, cyclical, conceptual) as they manifest in technological education contexts
4. Demonstrate the stages and functions of design as they manifest in specific context so as to reflect the deign journey towards problem resolution
5. Demonstrate understanding and appreciation of historical technological processes through the creation of fit for purpose design solutions
6. Use graphicacy and modelling knowledge and skills to produce a design resolution, communicated through a design portfolio
7. Interrogate schools of design and incorporate their key features and philosophies in design synthesis activities
8. Appreciate the importance of designerly activity in meeting societal challenges
9. Demonstrate an awareness of the complexity/simplicity argument that challenges the epistemological position of design education
10. Reflect on design solutions from the perspectives of what can be designed/created, how a solution is designed/created, and if a solution should be designed/created
11. Acknowledge the importance of designerly activity in the development of technological capability

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Tutorial24Tutorial in flat classroom
Laboratory24Practical in Studio
Independent Study77Independent learning
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Indicative Syllabus
Theory of design. Design movements and influences, design houses and case studies. Problem-solving. Iterative, cyclical and goal orientated design approaches. Interpreting the brief, persona development, inspirations and influences, design specifications and parameter defining, design development, production and technical considerations (e.g. manufacturability), communication of design, presentation of solution/innovation. Stages and functions of design.


Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentDesign synthesis 1: Students will create the first of two portfolios which involve interrogating a design school to understand its design philosophy, functionality and aesthetic and applying this knowledge to the re-imagining on an unrelated artefact to demonstrate design synthesis. These portfolios will be used as mediums to demonstrate an understanding of design processes, inclusive of stages and functions of designerly activity and reflection on ethical design.30%n/a
AssignmentDesign synthesis 2: Students will create the second of two portfolios as described above.70%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Lyon, P.,: 2011, Design Education. Gower Publishing, Ltd.. ISBN 056609245X ISBN-13 9780566092459,
  • Norman, E., Baynes, K.: 2017, DESIGN EPISTEMOLOGY AND CURRICULUM PLANNING.. ISBN 1909671150 ISBN-13 9781909671157,
  • McDonald, J.K., West, R.E.: 2021, Design for Learning: Principles, Processes, and Praxis. 1st Edition. EdTech Books.,
  • Portnoy, L.,: 2019, Designed to Learn. ISBN 141662824X ISBN-13 9781416628248,
  • Carney, P.,: 2021, DRAWING TO LEARN ANYTHING. ISBN 190967124X ISBN-13 9781909671249,
  • de Vries, J.,: 2017, Handbook of Technology Education. Springer. ISBN 331944686X ISBN-13 9783319446868,
  • de Vries, J.,: 2006, Teaching about Technology. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9781402034107 ISBN-13 1402034105,
  • Kuhn, S.,: 1996, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. ISBN 0226458083 ISBN-13 9780226458083,
Other Resources

45543, Journal, 0, International Journal of Technology and Design Education (ISSN: 1573-1804), 45544, Journal, 0, Design and Technology Education: An International Journal (ISSN: 1360-1431), 45545, Journal, 0, Design Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Design Research (ISSN: 0142-694X), 45546, Journal, 0, The Design Journal: An International Journal for All Aspects of Design (ISSN: 1460-6925),
Programme or List of Programmes
BEDTEGBachelor of Education - TEG Post Primary

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