In Design and Technologies, as in all subject areas, students must develop key communication skills. Students need to be able to meet the needs of different audiences when they communicate about design ideas. For example, in designing a new classroom chair for a student with a broken arm, the designer needs to be able to:
- ask the student questions about comfort and preferences for the chair
- explore chairs that are available at the school or online
- critically evaluate the options
- write a review of which options might best be modified to suit the student’s needs
- present the options to the school/class/student/family in a way that is clear and accessible to each group.
These steps represent only a small number of communication skills that are required in the Design and Technologies curriculum.
Three strategies to support students to develop their understanding of Design and Technologies process are:
Dahl, D. W., Chattopadhyay, A., & Gorn, G. J. (2001). The importance of visualisation in concept design. Design Studies, 22(1), 5–26.
Sato, K., & Matsushima, K. (2006). Effects of audience awareness on procedural text writing. Psychological Reports, 99(1), 51–73