Explorations into bottom up strategies for the teaching of Computer Aided Design

Lawler, Tony. 2001. 'Explorations into bottom up strategies for the teaching of Computer Aided Design'. In: PATT-11 Conference: New Media in Technology Education. UNDEFINED 8-13/3/2001. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

When Computer-Aided design and manufacture became freely available to teachers and schools, the Technology Education Research Unit (TERU) was commissioned by the Design and Technology Association (DATA professional association) to explore the efficacy of 3D modelling software as a tool for use in Design and Technology. A synopsis of the findings and their relevance to design and technology teaching was presented to the PATT 11(2001) The research examined learners' and teachers' attitudes to and capabilities with the new software made available free by Parametric Corporation to schools. The research highlighted the fundamental pedagogic challenge of this new technology in the classroom - particularly concerning the very different responses of teachers and learners to the new technologies. The paper reports comparison of paper and screen-based designing activities and notes that the potentially liberating effects for creation of screen-based objects is often counteracted by the difficulty encountered in modifying those objects. The opposite was the case with pencil and paper-based designing activities. Thus the '�combining' of these on and off screen activities is now commonplace commercially and in schools.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Additional Information:

Online publication. The research - reported to DATA as well as published in this paper - has had significant impact on the subsequent evolution of the training resources used with teachers. The work has contributed to a new attitude to software training: focussed less on the buttons and functions of the software and rather more on the pedagogy and learning structures built into the training. See for example http://www.cadinschools.org/. The work has international implications since the CAD in schools initiative has now spread across much of the world - not just facilitating the development of capability in 3D modelling, but also focussing teachers' attention on the centrality of an appropriate pedagogy.


design technology; education; schools; CAD

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Design > Technology Education Research Unit (TERU)


1 August 2001Published

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Date Deposited:

27 Mar 2008 15:25

Last Modified:

07 Dec 2012 12:49



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