Understanding Collaborative Digital Media Design in the 3DCVE: a Vygotskian approach

Theodor Wyeld, Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Digital Media Design (DMD) sits between ICT and the creative arts. DMD uses computers as a design tool. The ubiquity of the computer means DMD is available to a broad range of people. It is used in everyday design practices - creative, professional, commercial, academic, and casual. In an educational context, the way it is taught needs to meet students' expectations from a broad range of capabilities and requirements. Unlike more traditional forms of design practice, peculiar to DMD is the use of online collaborations. In turn, this demands different cognitive learning structures to traditional design practices. Online collaborations include a socialising element. Hence, current DMD practice is as much about social interaction as it is about design problem solving. Problem solving exercises in design teaching are traditionally explored in a project setting. In DMD this now includes the socialising element of online collaboration. This chapter describes a method for analysing DMD practice and, in particular, online design collaboration using a 3D Collaborative Virtual Environment. It provides a framework for analysis using Vygotsky's (1978) Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and Wenger's (1999) approach to learning communities and communities of practice, providing a case study for discussion. The results of this study are that a radical shift in teaching approach is needed to foster the sorts of deep learning outcomes graduates of DMD require to meet the demands of contemporary design work practices.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationComputational Design Methods and Technologies
    Subtitle of host publicationApplications in CAD, CAM and CAE Education
    PublisherIGI Global
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Print)9781613501801
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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