Pilot case

Redesigning Design Research course using blended learning

Completely redesigning a course using blended learning following a degree program restructure based on student feedback from previous years which indicated that there was a need for experiential learning on top of learning theory.
Redesigning Design Research course using blended learning

Pilot leader

Idil Gaziulusoy


School of Arts Design and Architecture


120 students


Nov 2018 – June 2019


Design Research is a course mandatory for all masters students at the Department of Design. Previously, this course was offered over two periods in the first semester of the second year of master studies. The approximate number of students who take this course is 120.

The teaching was based on 2-hour weekly in-class lectures and the only online component was course readings and lecture slides. Except for the first and the last session, the lectures were delivered by a different professor with competence in one methodological/methodical approach frequently used in design research. The assessment of the course was based on two assignments, one undertaken in a group and the other individually.

Several problems were identified in relation to this course based on student feedback and teacher’s observations. The most significant problems identified include:

  1. The course was taught “too late” in the studies (beginning of second year);
  2. The course did not meet learning needs of all students from different masters programs (our masters students belong to three different masters programs which have different methodological and methodical requirements; students from some of the programs felt the course did not cover what is relevant for their research projects from a methodological perspective);
  3. The course did not meet all learning needs of students due to teaching format (mostly one-way formal lectures) and insufficiency of staff time and expertise to provide timely and useful formative feedback.

In early 2018, the masters program joint studies was restructured which created a great opportunity to rethink and redesign this course using blended learning to improve student learning and increase teaching efficiency and effectiveness. As of 2018-2019 academic year this course is delivered to first year masters students over two, intensive weeks, the first end of period 3 and the second end of period 5.

The first week is dedicated to theoretical learning and the second week is dedicated to experiential learning. For the first week, to create time for deep learning through peer-engagement and formative feedback, we have produced several video lectures featuring different professors of the department with expertise on different methodological approaches in design research. Everyday during this week was structured in the same way: mornings were dedicated to “self-study” (watching the video lectures and readings) and the afternoons were dedicated to in-class activities.

The feedback from students for this first week has been positive. We haven’t yet run the second week, however, we have prepared the schedule. This week will primarily be dedicated to experiential learning in class. The students will try out few methods relevant to their respective masters program with the guidance of teaching assistants. They may go back to the video lectures throughout this week to remember the theoretical content. We will collect feedback on this week separately, as well as overall feedback on the whole course.

Platforms and tools

MyCourses, Panopto, Presemo

Involved courses

MUO-E0002 – Design Research (4 ECTS)


Idil Gaziulusoy
School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Pilot leader

Ramia Maze
School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Head of Education

Contact us

Got a great idea on how to support learning via online means?
We help make it reality!

Find out more