Assessment of Novelty for Intellectual Property with Implications for Design Education: A Case Study

By Jaki Everitt and Ashley Holmes.

Published by The International Journal of Design Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: September 1, 2016 Free Download

Broadly-speaking, the paradigm of knowledge-building in education involves training students to attribute antecedent ideas, usually in the form of texts. Lack of appropriate attribution in the form of referencing is seen as academic misconduct—plagiarism. In most disciplines, there are levels of expectation with regard to novel contribution commensurate with the level of qualification. Whereas for most other disciplines original contributions are expected only at the highest bands, with design disciplines, the emphasis tends to be on creativity, novelty, and innovation from the outset. Design education tasks are commonly project-based problem solving, with the outcome often being represented in the form of an artefact. Working on the assumption that there are institutionalised processes that enable designs and patents to be registered on the basis of novelty, this paper documents a case study of just such an application to IP Australia. The outcome does not convince the authors that meaningful criteria, appropriate for evaluating novelty in design education, may be extrapolated from the current process for examining and determining novelty for the purpose of design registration in Australia. However, after subsequent analysis, it is proposed that, for the purpose of examining design artefacts in the educational context, rather than the typical originality disclaimer that highlights the issue of plagiarism, a "statement of novelty" with respect to the artefact should be submitted. The shift in focus would be subtle but significant because it would highlight for students the importance of recognition of the worth of their own creative originality, and prepare the way for a more pragmatic culture of innovation.

Keywords: Artefact, Assessment, Design, Examination, Novelty

The International Journal of Design Education, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.45-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: September 1, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 700.593KB)).

Jaki Everitt

PhD Candidate, School of Education and the Arts, Central Queensland University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Ashley Holmes

Senior Lecturer, School of Education and the Arts, Central Queensland University, Mackay, Queensland, Australia