International Journal of Art & Design Education

Online Collaboration in Design Education: an Experiment in Real-Time Manipulation of Prototypes and Communication (pages 188–199)

Volume 36.2   2017



The features of collaboration in design education include effective and efficient communication and reflection, and feasible manipulation of design objects. For collaborative design, information and communication technology offers educators the possibility to change design pedagogy. However, there is a paucity of literature on relative advantages and disadvantages of online collaboration for real-time manipulation of design objects and prototypes, particularly in web design education. Using survey instrumentations, this study investigated online collaborative design practices with an application by measuring experiences of communication and interaction among twelve designers who are enrolled in a Master's programme in interactive design. The study identified barriers to online collaboration design: (1) real-time manipulation of design objects and prototypes may increase complexity of communication interaction; (2) records of communication and invisibility of team members may attenuate quality and frequency of critical feedback to each other; (3) students’ attitudes towards collaboration, individual students’ learning goals, and completing tasks in a timely manner could reduce their engagement and increase their reliance on teacher intervention.