This study examined the use of an online learning community, Designscholar, created for interior design graduate students. This study considered potential changes in creative thinking (fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration) about design research as a means of measuring learning within Designscholar’s peer-led online discussions. The online learning community tailored for interior design graduate education is a new and innovative way to increase communication skills, advance creative thinking about design research, and supplement the traditional methods of graduate seminar instruction with current technologies. This study used 21 students from three interior design graduate programs across the United States who participated in discussions for a six-week period. The findings suggest that the use of peer discussions in an online learning community like Designscholar can increase the creative thinking about design research in interior design graduate students with particular benefit to incoming students who hold previous degrees in fields unrelated to interior design. The interactions in the online discussions led to significant gains in creative thinking about understanding and defining a personal interest in interior design research.
|Keywords:||Design Pedagogy, Creativity, Learning Community|
Assistant Professor, Department of Interior Design, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA