The Industrial Design Department of Eindhoven University of Technology is continuously developing and putting in practice a holistic and integrative educational approach, focusing on designing intelligent systems, products and related services for societal transformation.
During the semester, each student is supported by a personal coach, by assignors and experts, who eventually provide feedbacks on the student’s learning, achievement, and reflection upon learning. During the end-of-term assessment, students are evaluated on their overall development (taking skills, knowledge, reflection, attitude and identity into account). After describing the rational of the educational system of TU/e and its process in practice, this paper focuses on the introduction of a new educational tool aiming at supporting education, assessment included: the Frame of Reference.
The holistic quality of the educational system allows the personalisation of the entire student career. Therefore, there are as many visions and student paths as the number of students. Each student is different from others in terms of their knowledge, skills and experience. Consequently, no standardized criteria can be properly applied to the evaluation procedure.
The Frame of Reference is structured as an intelligent space, both physical and virtual, and adaptive to the visitors’ expectations and experience. It offers referential works and development of design students (prototypes, reports, showcases…), illustrating stages of and processes for competency development and over-all development as a designer. The Frame of Reference is introduced and described as a place for sharing points of views and experiences, between students, coaches, experts, assessors, and external visitors. It is designed to inspire and to support students as well as staff, by creating a comprehensive and clearer, yet non-homogenous vision of what students throughout the department achieve, of how this is evaluated and how this contributes to students’ overall competence of designing.