Ayman M. Ismail, Mona Hasan Soliman



Undergraduate design instruction in the Arab world has traditionally focused on the design studio as the primary tool for developing creative design capacities. Interaction continues to be based on student-to content, student-to-interface, and/or student-to instructor. Student-to-student (peer) interaction however has usually not been formally considered as a source of skill-development, or limited to groups formed in the research and data collection phase of the design process. This paper describes and evaluates a type of collaborative learning which was applied in the context of transforming the traditional single-level design studio into an all-level combined design studio. The impressions, skills acquired, and the efficiency of the produced project is compared with those produced in a traditional design, competitive class setting using a student-based survey. The items of this survey were derived from theories on collaborative learning that stress the importance of interaction to promote deep learning. The literature review addresses: definition of collaborative learning, assumed benefits, conditions for success, as well as the vertical studio approach and relevant experiences in the Arab world.


Collaborative learning; Cooperative learning; design studio pedagogy; architectural education

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