teaching for values in design

This is an open educational resource (OER) targeting teachers in design and engineering programs in higher education who aim to give their students the tools and skills to become responsible designers. It offers a collection of 28 teaching activities, 12 assessment activities and a series of inspiring case descriptions illustrating how these activities can be put into practice in the classroom. The collection is accompanied by learning outcomes structured in a curriculum compass outlining some of the core competencies to become a responsible designer.

The teaching activities cover the entire design process, and range from activities such as lectures on theoretical grounding of values and ethics in design, to exercises in identifying both designer and stakeholder values, and to activities helping to envision the societal and ethical implications of designs. The activities can be tailored to fit different courses in various educational settings, across different levels and disciplines.

Why values in design?

Ethics and values are embedded in all technologies and affect our society on many different levels, from individual perspectives to large-scale societal effects. Designers and developers of technologies thus play an important role in shaping society and ought to take responsibility by reflectively considering and intentionally working with values and ethical implications of their designs.

The overall aim of this OER is to contribute to the development of students’ knowledge and skills required to consider the broader context and implications of design and design processes, in order to be responsible designers. The OER supports teachers who are interested in addressing the role values play in design as part of their pedagogical practices. In doing so, they create conditions for students to grow into responsible designers and developers of future technologies.

A pedagogical framework on teaching for values in design

The VASE pedagogical framework model provides an overview of all of the components that this OER consists of:

  • Pillars: three core competency pillars for educating responsible designers,
  • Learning objectives: seven overarching learning objectives that guide teachers when teaching for values in design,
  • Curriculum compass: the curriculum compass containing 20 learning outcomes which outline progression in learning design for values,
  • Teaching activities: 28 teaching activities that expand, concretise, and integrate learning outcomes in step-by-step activities,
  • Assessment activities: 12 assessment activities that are connected to relevant teaching activities to support teachers in checking whether the activities’ learning outcomes were achieved by the students.

The pedagogical framework model visualises how the different components offered can be configured and used by teachers to meet their own needs. It may on the one hand, support teachers in systematically planning and carrying out teaching, and, on the other hand, help facilitate robust learning by giving teachers ways to assess and check for students’ learning.

Figure 1. A pedagogical framework on teaching for values in design.

Tools for teaching for values in design

Other resources