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Feigenbaum Earns Outstanding Oral Presentation Award

Posted Apr. 29, 2013

Adina Feigenbaum, MFA candidate in the School of Visual Communication Design received an Outstanding Oral Presentation Award at the 28th Annual Graduate Research Symposium for her presentation, “Social Media as a Means of Promoting Peer-Based Learning in Design Education,” which is part of Feigenbaum’s thesis work.

The Graduate Research Symposium is a celebration of scholarship and an opportunity for students of all disciplines to present their research. The annual event is sponsored by the Graduate Student Senate. Oral presentations were judged based on content, organization, contribution, verbal and nonverbal communication.

Feigenbaum’s research explored critique as “an integral part of design education whereby students review and evaluate projects in order to learn design principles and develop skills such as self-evaluation and giving constructive feedback to others.”

Her study “sought to determine points of struggle for students and explore potential benefits of an online design network” using design students and instructors from four Ohio universities and design professionals from Northeast Ohio as participants. She conducted ethnographic research including observations of design courses, surveys and interviews with students, instructors, and professionals, journal exercises, and a card sort and mock critique with students, and applied personas to experience models.

Feigenbaum found that students experience difficulty with communication and time-management skills, working with peers and motivation to learn independently primarily during the initial and final stages of a project. According to her research, critique becomes a crutch for some students lacking confidence who often wait for instructor approval, fail to take initiative, self-evaluate, or request feedback.

As a result, Feigenbaum created Crit-Chat, an online community of practice for design students, which the study proposes to help in skill-building, stress reduction, and confidence-boosting to enhance students' learning and motivation. This study outlines the components of Crit-Chat and explores wire-frames requiring testing and further development. Crit-Chat can benefit students throughout their education and career development.