Virtual Roundtable: The Value of Design Education

Anne H. Berry & Penina Acayo Laker

Our third virtual roundtable discussion was held on Friday, May 15 with design educators Anne H. Berry (Cleveland State University) and Penina Acayo Laker (Washington University in St. Louis) about the value of design education. Over thirty participants listened to Anne and Penina share their perspectives and approaches to ensuring value and equity in their students’ learning experiences in classroom and community interactions. Smaller break out groups then answered and discussed two questions:

1. What value do we provide as design educators? How do we measure or demonstrate that value? (To ourselves, our students, our institutions) and,

2. We can’t recreate in-person experiences online. So, what are reasonable expectations to set for ourselves? For our students?

Some ideas for consideration include developing mechanisms for measuring students’ learning before and after they leave our classes and programs; identifying ways to emphasize that the outcomes of design processes can provide humanistic, tangible, and transformative products, services, and systems; and building better mentor models inside and outside of the classroom.