What happens when learning intentions are made explicit in a design and technology project?

Roger Elmer
1998, Vol. 3, No. 1,


The paper discusses the results of two studies that investigated a particular design and technology project undertaken by higher education students. The project is unusual in that the intention of learning is made explicit rather than its implicit status in the more usual design and technology project brief. Although a range of themes emerged in both studies, future professional practice and assessment were the dominant influences on respondents' intentions during the project. Assessment, analysed from a constructivist perspective, influenced respondents to produce an outcome that was in keeping with a certain class of finished, three dimensional artefact. In many cases this constrained and limited the pursuit of learning intentions.

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