Ana Glória Barão dos Santos Neves

Inovação em Design Básico, com a criação de uma ferramenta de aprendizagem baseada na Realidade Virtual


Emília Duarte, Universidade Europeia / UNIDCOM/IADE
Diana Dias, Universidade Europeia / CIPES


In the scope of the development of Basic Design competencies, the aim of the study is to design a pedagogical tool based on Virtual Reality (VR) technology, including the evaluation of its added value for the teaching-learning experience. The learning outcomes of all the Basic Design courses taught in Higher Education and in the national territory will be analyzed to assess the effective teaching objectives in this area. The design of an innovative pedagogical tool, based on a User-Centered Design approach, will be evaluated empirically, as a result, but also as a pedagogical process, through a comparative experimental design between control and experimental groups. The potential of the tool will be evaluated considering student performance, using blind judges. Students' satisfaction and commitment, among other variables, will also be the subject of comparative evaluation. It is hoped an active contribution to promote the acquisition of more and better competences by the students, enhancing the teaching-learning process, at Basic Design.

Keywords: Design Education; Basic Design; Learning outcomes; Virtual Reality-based tool; User Centered Design


In a broader scope, this study aims to promote design, an emerging and transdisciplinary discipline, in its dual meaning: disciplinary and design. Besides its contribution to educational design, with the creation of a tool capable of enhancing key competences, we intend to start the debate about research in Basic Design, in Portugal. Considering the importance of the articulation of the cognitive, emotional and motivational dimensions for learning, we intend to evaluate the use of the tool in the apprehension and application phases of the contents, from the performance in the exercise; and the quality of the experience of using the tool and its pedagogical process.

Thus, the research questions are as follows:

  1. What skills have been worked on in the Basic Design for which the tool can contribute?
  2. What role does the VR based tool play in learning and developing Basic Design competencies?
  3. What impact does RV technology have on the development of pedagogical strategies and follow-up of the teaching and learning process in Basic Design?
Basic Design

Basic Design is a central discipline in design education (Akbulut & Kesdi, 2017; Anceschi, 2010; Boucharenc, 2006; Findeli, 2001). In Basic Design students are introduced to the fundamentals of the discipline according to a holistic, creative and experimental methodology that develops attitudes rather than professional competencies. Characteristic exercises of this discipline focus the aesthetic-formal aspects in the development of abstract concepts. An exploratory process is usually applied for composition of form, texture and color, leaving aside many of the technical and physical factors of the objects (Bonsiepe, 2012).

Virtual Reality

In education, VR has been shown some positive effects for learning abstract concepts (Abdelaziz, Riad, & Senousy, 2014). This technology uses digital / synthetic 3D worlds, with different levels of realism and interaction, that allow to experience artificial phenomena with the quality and intensity once only possible to be realized in the real world. To promote such experiences, some factors contribute to the presence, that is, the feeling of being inside the created environment. According to the RV Triangle proposed by Burdea & Coiffet (2003), for this to happen, levels of immersion, interaction and imagination must be considered. Other factors also contribute to the sensation of presence, such as the number of senses to be stimulated and the absence of VR-induced symptoms (i.e., nausea, eye fatigue and disorientation) (Sharples, Cobb, Moody, & Wilson, 2008).


The tool will be based on the results of a pilot study already developed in this context (Neves, Niemeyer, et al., 2016) (Neves, Duarte, & Dias, 2016) after being subject to the necessary adjustments for its application to teaching- learning the concepts of Basic Design. Four phases are considered in the research design:

  1. Characterization of the skills worked in Basic Design
  2. Development of the RV tool
  3. Experience planning
  4. Evaluation of the tool by potential users
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