Turning interaction design students into co-researchers: How we tried this and somewhat failed

Oskar Rexfelt, Pontus Wallgren, Alexandros Nikitas

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

Abstract

There are many potential benefits of involving university students in research (as researchers, not subjects). It can help students to increase their retentive knowledge in the subject they study, and also develop research skills such as problem framing and analysis. While disciplines such as psychology and medicine have a tradition of students contributing to research publications, Design and Product Development does not. This indicates an untapped potential for researchers in these fields to more actively engage their students in their work. In the spring of 2014, we made an effort to involve Interaction Design master's students in our research. It was in a Product Development course on "User Requirements Elicitation". The research itself dealt by comparison with the effectiveness of two research methods; namely, individual interviews compared to group interviews. During the course, students in groups made a quantitative and qualitative comparison of the two methods. It was clear that the students did not appreciate this initiative. Their opinion was that it did not have a high enough "pay-off" in relation to their efforts. The course received very low scores when the students evaluated it. However, we could see quite clearly that they had developed an in-depth knowledge of the compared methods. The students also discussed issues such as reliability and validity of their research in a way that we had not seen in the course in its previous years. The whole experiment resulted in significant knowledge generation regarding how (and how not) to involve students in research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research and Enterprise, E and PDE 2015
PublisherThe Design Society
Pages194-199
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781904670629
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research & Enterprise - Loughborough, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sep 20154 Sep 2015
Conference number: 17

Conference

Conference17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
Abbreviated titleE&PDE 2015
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLoughborough
Period3/09/154/09/15

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Rexfelt, O., Wallgren, P., & Nikitas, A. (2015). Turning interaction design students into co-researchers: How we tried this and somewhat failed. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research and Enterprise, E and PDE 2015 (pp. 194-199). The Design Society.