Publication Details

This paper was originally published as: Ellmers, G, A re-examination of graphic design pedagogy, and its application at the University of Wollongong: Towards a PhD study in design education, ACUADS 2005 Conference: artists, designers and creative communities, School of Contemporary Arts, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia, 28-30 September 2005. Copyright 2005 Australian Council of University Art & Design Schools.


The pedagogical approach in the Graphic Design discipline at the University of Wollongong, as in other design institutions (Kvan 2001), is informed at a fundamental level by the studio-based learning framework. The ever-present challenges in the higher education sector, such as increasing student to teacher ratios and resourcing issues, lead educators to constantly evaluate their pedagogical approach. With the current advances in computer-aided design, and the emergence of alternative learning frameworks, it is timely to re-evaluate the role and effectiveness of studio-based learning in graphic design education. Problem-based learning and Schön's reflective practitioner framework have parallels with studio-based learning, however on closer examination they identify opportunities to enhance the studio approach. One such instance is the formalisation of student reflection, post project submission. This paper will outline a proposed PhD study in graphic design pedagogy and will include a discussion of the theory and practices that have informed its development.