Relay Thinking in Design and Technology

Kin Wai Michael Siu
1998, Vol. 3, No. 3,


Relay thinking as a thinking process borrows its concept from running a relay race. This concept is then modified so that the cooperative advantages found in a 'relay' are put into group thinking projects. In 1997, eight secondary design and technology students used relay thinking to generate ideas in order to solve a pre-set problem. The objective of this study was to see the possibilities and limitations of using the process in design and technology problem solving activities. The performance of the students was noted during the thinking activities and interviews were conducted after the activities. The interviews did not aim to investigate the students' solutions to the problem, but rather their experience in using relay thinking.

In this paper, the concept of relay thinking will first be outlined. The results of the study will then be presented. Looking at these results, relay thinking provides an alternative to individual and group thinking experiences, although some modifications on the thinking activities are necessary. The results also indicate that secondary students should be provided with more opportunities to have group co-operation in problem solving activities.

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