Lurking and learning at eSTEeM

Today we have presented on the 6th eSTEeM Annual Conference some of the findings from our eSTEeM funded project on student progression in OpenDesignStudio.

The bottom line is that you even though you might just ‘lurk’ online, you can learn and succeed in your studies. Simply viewing the work other design students have posted online will tell you

  • that you are on the right track,
  • that there is an amazing variety of approaches to the same problem,
  • that visually stimulating, interesting and different approaches garner comments by other students that can actually support you in becoming a designer.

Learning at the distance doesn’t have to mean you are alone and isolated in your pursuit. At the OU students develop digital competency that is sought after by employers as we have heard today from Nicola Turner MBE, Head of Skills, HEFCE. You learn to become more confident in sharing your work and building on the ideas of others, being socially and professionally competent.

We have heard about fantastic projects to support active, experiential and relevant learning at a distance. I particularly liked the ‘Fieldcast’ project, in which you can participate in interactive life fieldtrips, take and analyse samples on the ground and at a distance. Imagine, as a design student, you could walk into a design office or workshop and participate in a life design project – having a stake in the decision making, and responsibility for the direction the project goes – all at a distance through a life video stream? Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Many eSTEeM funded projects are inspiring, but the challenge is to learn the lessons, scale up and roll out what we have learned works well to engage students at a distance and help them succeed in their studies.


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