Maximizing Creative Problem-Solving and Collaboration through the Physical Components of the Classroom

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Traditionally, discussions on brainstorming and collaborative learning center on how the facilitator/teacher manages the dialogue and conversations within a group to gain the greatest advantage from the collective thought process. Seldom are the physical workspace configurations and components they contain seen as a key contributor to this process. Nevertheless, successes in brainstorming and collaborative learning are often a function of both the facilitator’s methods and the physical environment in which they are conducted. Classroom environments that accommodate multiple channels of information flow and are flexible to adjust with individuals as the goals for collaboration change will likely foster more productive collaborative output from students. This paper and presentation will explore how changes lighting, varying computer accommodations, constructive wall-spaces, environmental video, seating heights, and workspace arrangements each contribute to the success of collective idea generation, evaluation, and decision-making within the classroom environment. Specific examples will be illustrated through a product development studio course.


Keywords: Design Education, Creative Environments, Brainstorming, Creative Collaboration, Design Studio
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Shea Tillman

Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Design, Auburn University
Auburn, Alabama, USA

Shea Tillman is an Assistant Professor teaching industrial design studios and coursework within the Department of Industrial Design at Auburn University. Shea holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design from Auburn University and Master of Arts in design from The Ohio State University. His research interests include the integration and communication of user research into the product development process, as well as the role of brand in developing product family form language.

Ref: T08P0063