Supporting students’ self-directed experiences of studio learning in Communication Design: The co-creation of a participatory methods process model




Communication Design, sensory affect, studio education, learning spaces, case study, Participatory Action Research (PAR), Participatory Design (PD), ethnography


This interdisciplinary paper discusses the meaning of open, critical, communal, and discursive learning spaces in higher education. It draws on recent research (Marshalsey, 2017) that illuminates the relationship between sensory affect and learning in studio education. It focuses on the extension and development of new learning configurations in the design studio, augmented by technology enhanced learning. Sensory affect is a form of feedback that can be used by learners to analyse and interpret the impact of the learning environment around them. This study used sensory affect as a lens through which to understand students’ experiences of practice-based learning in Communication Design spaces in two distinct higher education settings in the United Kingdom and Australia.

The evolution of specialist design studio learning spaces, from physical studios to a blend of virtual and online educational environments, has led to significant debate about how to design, use and evaluate learning spaces for practice-based design disciplines. The paper uses the methods process model, based on participatory design tools (Marshalsey, 2017; Sanders & Stappers, 2008). The MPM supports students and educators to qualitatively interpret and critique their learning spaces more explicitly within their design education.


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Author Biographies

Lorraine Marshalsey, Griffith University

Dr Lorraine Marshalsey is the Honours Program Director across Design, Design Futures, Digital Media, Fine Art, Photography and Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art (CAIA) at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University in Australia. As an educator and educational researcher, she produces international practice-led research in her role as the Convenor of Creative Art and Design Research Methodologies, History and Theory at Griffith University. Lorraine was awarded the Global Excellence Initiative Fund PhD studentship under the theme of Education in Art, Design and Architecture in 2014 and in 2017, she completed her doctorate at Glasgow School of Art in the UK. Lorraine’s interests include studio learning, curriculum development, sensory affect and developing creative research methodologies for teaching and learning. Lorraine has published journal papers and presented conference papers in these fields. She has taught design research, history, theory and design subjects in the United Kingdom, India, China and Australia. She is also a member of NSEAD (The National Society for Education in Art and Design), the Griffith Centre For Creative Arts Research (GCCAR) and the Griffith Institute for Educational Research (GIER).

Madeleine Sclater, Glasgow School of Art

Dr Madeleine Sclater is a Reader in Art and Design Education and Senior Academic Fellow in Digital Learning at Glasgow School of Art.  She supervises several doctoral students, is Programme Leader for a blended learning Masters of Education Programme in Learning, Teaching and Supervision in the Creative Disciplines and directs the Glasgow School of Art Cross-School Postgraduate Electives Programme.   She is Deputy Principal Editor of the International Journal of Art and Design Education (IJADE), and Associate Editor of the recently formed online journal Culture, Biography and Lifelong Learning based at the University of Pusan, South Korea. Madeleine is widely published and is a regular speaker at conferences and events, both internationally and nationally. Over the last two decades, Madeleine has developed a strategic international research profile in the field of Education, Art and Design and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL).  With a background in Fine Art (Painting) and digital media, Madeleine has pioneered and researched new collaborative methodologies, using advanced technologies for distributed studio-based creative education.




How to Cite

Marshalsey, L., & Sclater, M. (2018). Supporting students’ self-directed experiences of studio learning in Communication Design: The co-creation of a participatory methods process model. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 34(6).