Design and Technology 60DESTEK

Course Objectives

In this specialisation course students will develop their knowledge, experience, and their creative and problem solving skills. They will increase their understanding and experience of issues in which human needs, appropriate technology, learning, culture, environment and society play a key role. In addition, students will develop an awareness regarding the opportunities this specialist subject provides in working with technology, materials, function, communication and didactics.

Design and Technology focuses on practical problem solving in the use of materials, in a continuous process from idea to product. Through the study of design methodology and subject theory, students will acquire a basic understanding of methodological thinking enabling them to explore and develop their ideas through analysis, visualisation, documentation, cognitive communication and physical action.

To concretise ideas requires knowledge and skills in several fields. This will involve a focus on the further development of knowledge of materials, subject theory and practical skills training in a subject-didactic framework.

Students will

  • learn to identify actual fields for relevant problem solving.
  • develop their knowledge regarding the relation between the characteristics of materials and physical laws in specific problem areas.
  • develop their knowledge and skills in handling visual, material, functional and technological aspects and qualities.
  • develop their experience and skills related to the working with materials, tools and techniques within the subject area.
  • develop their knowledge of design and technology and their ability to work between the traditional and contemporary in their area of specialisation.
  • become acquainted with and experience methods used to develop ideas, design, products and technology.
  • acquire knowledge and experience of subject and pedagogic development activities.

Target area 1: Problem solving and product development

This target area includes practical and theoretical work related to identifying a problem, finding strategies for solutions, idea development, and production of products, model or prototype.

Students will:

  • learn to analyse their own and others’ solutions, and use technology in the field of product development and design. They will learn to assess, choose and apply materials based on their knowledge related to the areas of use and the characteristics of the materials.
  • learn and apply the relevant basic skills in the following fields: physics, mathematics, society, economy and environment.
  • be able to apply traditional and contemporary technology in a critical and evaluative manner, and use this as a basis for solving problems in relation to their own work.
  • select and use construction and working methods on the basis of a general assessment of an idea, function and design.
  • learn to use form and proportion and show an ability to work with dimensions.
  • acquire the ability to build on prior experience and knowledge, and to enlarge their repertoire through their own work.
  • gain mastery of working techniques and safety rules regarding the use of various machine tools.
  • gain an understanding of the various elements of the different techniques and presentation methods, and their importance in terms of the end product. In addition, students will learn to evaluate the degree of difficulty related to the various elements in a process in order to ensure progression in the teaching of pupils.
  • learn to explain the relationship between materials, tools, techniques and the desired function and expression of form; and reflect on and explain how their own and the work of others functions visually and physically in the context it is intended to be used in.
  • reflect on and make choices regarding the social aspects of design, production and the use of technology, in relation to the impact the use of resources has on the environment.

Target area 2: Subject didactics

Subject didactics concerns the aims of the course, and the opportunities regarding the teaching of the subject in schools, as well as how teaching should be planned in order to fulfil the intentions of curricula. Students will acquire knowledge regarding pupils’ learning and development in primary and secondary schools. Methodology related to interdisciplinary cooperation and project work will also be included in this target area.

Students will

  • be encouraged to participate in relevant debates regarding subject pedagogy.
  • learn to plan, implement and assess teaching of the subject in both primary and secondary schools.
  • learn to analyse and assess current study programmes and curricula.
  • use existing curricula when planning their teaching. Students will learn to validate and discuss various learning and teaching methods and participate in project work based on their own experience.
  • prepare to confront pupils’ need to learn and explore. They will also learn to be able inspire and guide pupils in developing active learning activities.
  • learn to apply knowledge of subject didactics; and utilise the experience from their teaching practice as a basis for their personal and professional development and to develop their skills in assessing and further developing the subject.
  • gain an overview of the relevant curricula and textbooks used in primary and secondary schools.
  • reflect over the pedagogical consequences of teaching the subject.
  • discuss and reflect over values the subject may contribute to culture and society.
  • discuss how our relationship to the objects around us influences our everyday life and the development conditions for children and youth.

Target area 3: Research methodology and research and development activities

Students will gain knowledge and experience related to basic methodology and approaches for acquiring, developing and analysing knowledge.

Students will:

  • learn to draft and define problem approaches, use source material, present and evaluate results.
  • learn to give an account of the most appropriate methodology and approaches for acquiring subject-related knowledge.
  • use research literature, databases, informants and other sources.
  • learn to identify opportunities for renewal, and learn to combine various methodologies within research and development on the basis of the special characteristics of the subject.

Course Description

Design and technology holds an important place in today’s society. The course will meet the need for pedagogical and disciplinary competence in which the development of ideas, technological insight and problem solving take place within a practical and aesthetic framework. The course is limited to design development and specific products/solutions aimed at various user-groups. The choice of learning material and problem approaches in the course are characterised by an environmental and social perspective, in which entrepreneurship in cooperation with schools, business and industry provides a practical framework.

By alternating theory and practice, students will develop their ability to make decisions and defend professional practices. On this basis, the course will provide a background for improvement and an awareness of the potential and values of the subject in relation to the individual, schools and society. Knowledge, skills and familiarity with creative and problem-solving processes and aesthetic, functional, communicative and craft-related qualities are central elements of the course.

Course unit 1: Static structures/product area

This course unit consists of work with assignments aimed at identifying and/or solving problems related to structures and products that are wholly or mainly static.

Course unit 2: Mobile Structures/Product Area

Work on this course unit will to some extent build further on certain elements of course unit 1, and involves work with problem approaches related to structures/products which are completely or mainly mobile.

The main goal of course units 1 and 2 is to provide the student with a basic competence in his/her role as a teacher. In addition, the course units aim to provide students with a basic understanding of the subject so they can work independently on the final project. The two course units structure the subject field and make possible the choice of fundamental different problem approaches. The separation into two parts may also inform or help explain overlapping areas. The work with the course units will require both the ability to identify and develop one’s own problem approaches and areas, and to discover needs for greater or smaller improvements of existing products; or map the needs and develop ideas in areas which lack solutions for covering these needs.

The work will consist of acquiring an understanding for both problem approaches identified by the student, and those given, through analysis, description and presentation for others. In the working processes, students will investigate relevant problem areas/fields, so that they can describe which level they wish to solve the problem with reference to the degree of difficulty; they will choose the appropriate technology, materials and identify needs for specific knowledge of for instance: conditions in society, environmental factors and various subject areas such as mathematics and physics, which will contribute to the solution of the problem which has been chosen.

Each course unit may consist of several assignments. The assignments will involve both individual work and participation in project groups of varying sizes, in which the working methods aim at making students aware of the importance of their own and others contributions to the process of reaching a solution. Students will gain knowledge and experience of the use of design methods and various techniques for visualisation such as drawing, digital photography, CAD programmes, FEA and rapid prototyping. Work with user-understanding and the forming of solutions on the basis of user-surveys is a relevant problem approach in preparation or continuation with work concerning product development or problem solution.

The importance of the structure’s/product’s visual appearance will be considered through work on two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms and other aspects such as surface quality and colour.

In those cases where the student’s solutions in the specialisation course presuppose a specification of materials and/or techniques which cannot be used in the university college’s workshops or with the technology that is accessible at the university college, there will be the opportunity of completing assignments at advanced model or prototype level, or in cooperation with industrial or other concerns. The student will be responsible for making contact with cooperative partners after this has been approved by the subject teachers.

Learning Methods

The course is divided into two course units, a period of teaching practice and an assessment part that includes an individual written examination and a final project. The subject material of each of the three target areas is included in all parts of the course.

Course units:

1. Static Structures/Product Area 20 ECTS

2. Mobile Structures/Product Area 20 ECTS

The course units are independent units that cover specific areas of the course. Together the course units will prepare and equip students to work independently on their final projects for which they will choose a theme; the project counts for 20 ECTS.

Subject theory and subjects didactics counts for 15 ECTS, and is integrated in all parts of the course; the level and content is evident from the syllabus literature. Working and experimenting with the course material and ideas will form an important part of the students’ teaching practice. Students will gain basic knowledge of research and development methodology and employ this knowledge when writing their final reports.

The course consists of the following elements:

  • Static structures/product area
  • Mobile structures/product area
  • Teaching practice (3 weeks)
  • Individual written assignment (1 week)
  • Final project (up to 12 weeks)

The course includes lectures in subject theory, subject didactics and research methodology, working with assignments, and an introduction to practical working methods. The teaching will include demonstrations, practical exercises, guided training of skills, lectures, discussions and debates. It also includes individual and group supervision.

The interaction between creative work, theory and reflection is an important element of the subject. Students will gain a deeper and more detailed understanding of the subject and a broader perspective of their own creative and problem solving activities. The course will also include visits to industrial locations and exhibitions. There may also be the possibility of short excursions.

Individual work at the workshops in combination with the theoretical part of the course represents a major part of the course. Teamwork in the projects and assignments promotes the development of ideas in teams, and represents an important study method in one of the course units. Participation in debates and discussions about subject related issues in minor seminars, and through common exhibitions and dissemination projects, constitutes an important means of gaining insight into the subject.

During the course, students will be expected to work independently, as well as in groups. Students are expected to spend a minimum of 37.5 hours per week working on their studies. They will be supervised by their teachers about half of this time.


Some of the subject material may be considered common for all of the specialised courses. This will be mediated largely though seminars/lectures for the BA programme, Subject Teacher: Education in the Arts. The subject material that is presented in these joint seminars may vary from year to year; consult the course reading list.

Other activities

In addition, there will be obligatory ‘vocational days’ ( fagdager), scheduled activities such as ‘Open Door’ and possibly other course-related outside activities. Through such activities students will gain experience in meeting the public and mediating topical material though exhibits and oral and audio-visual demonstrations.

Teaching practice

Three weeks of the academic year are reserved for teaching practice, which is normally associated with the teaching of crafts in upper secondary schools, folk high schools or placement in industrial concerns. The course material covers the entire country, so the teaching practice may be placed outside the university college’s immediate geographic area. The practice period may also be carried out in connection with pupils’ enterprises ( elevbedrifter) at various levels or be part of a final project. Those students who are not currently studying to be teachers, or have not taken teacher training at an earlier date, will normally be assigned alternative practice.

Students are expected to cooperate with their teaching practice mentors (or the contact person in businesses and industries) and subject teachers in planning, executing and evaluating their teaching practice arrangements.

Both the teaching practice efforts and the report are used in evaluating the student’s overall performance. Teaching practice reports must be submitted one week after the practice period is completed. Students who have their training placement in business and industry must submit their training practice reports to the subject teacher for approval. For practice placements in schools please refer to the ‘Teaching Practice Handbook’; and for training placements in business and industry please refer to ‘Guidance for Work Training in Business and Industry’ on the Telemark University College’s web pages.

Student council

Students will be expected to choose their own student council consisting of 2-3 students who function as intermediaries between the teaching team and the class. When appropriate, the student council may participate in team meetings in order to discuss matters related to the planning of class activities.

Assessment Methods

There should be a relation between the aims, content, teaching and learning methods and assessment of the course. The assessment will form an important part of the actual learning, and act as a means of allowing the individual student to both develop understanding of the aims of the course and to acquire insight into their own suitability for the teaching profession.

Reviewing and assessing teaching and learning methods, sketches, rough drafts, models and products, together with subject-didactic reflection will reveal the students’ contributions and progression in the course, and provide insight into, and awareness of, their professional advancement and learning. The assessment is also intended as an aid to the individual student in the form of supervision. The supervision concerns for instance, processes and results, and students’ ability to work together.

Both students and the teachers must participate in the course assessment with the aim of further developing the course and preparing students for future work in developing their own teaching and schools’ activities. Therefore, the assessment must also include the content and organisation of the course, the student’s own work, and teaching and learning methods through the entire year.

Assignments must be submitted at the appointed times, and will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis. All elements of the assignments must receive passing grades in order for the student to achieve a passing grade for the course unit. The teaching team is responsible for the assessment. Students must submit all individual assignments at the appointed times and receive passing marks before being allowed to take the examination. Students are responsible for orienting themselves about the assignment requirements and deadlines. This should be viewed in connection with the rights and responsibilities the student has according to the examination regulations at the university college; please refer to the Act Relating to Universities and University Colleges § 40.


Individual written examination; 5-day home assignment

The student will write an assignment based on a given theme. The teaching team is responsible for selecting the theme, which will be of a subject-theoretical/subject-didactic nature. There are specific requirements related to organisation, structure and the student’s ability to relate the subject material to the theme. The written assignment should include a maximum of 10 pages, using 12-point font and 1.5 line spacing.

Final project

The project is an independent study worth 20 ECTS; students choose the theme/area of study. The final project has a mandatory requirement for supervision, and students are responsible for contacting the subject teacher and arranging for supervision. In the final work, particular stress is placed on creative work, theoretical background and the ability to analyse and organise one’s work with the materials. Specific demands are made for the final project with respect to structure and use of elementary scientific methods.

The project may be carried out on an independent basis or in cooperation with industry or business or other relevant environment. It is the student’s responsibility to establish contact. The project should be school-related. There is also the possibility of carrying out the practice period in conjunction with the project where this is appropriate with regard to the type of project. The goal is to allow the student to gain experience in executing independent professional work with a research aspect, which will provide an opportunity to specialise in one or several aspects of the subject.

The result will consist of practical creative work in materials, thorough documentation including a written paper fulfilling the normal requirements for report writing, and a comprehensive presentation. Students will, in addition, organise their own syllabus literature related to the project, which should include about 200 pages on subjects associated with documentation in the report.

The final project will lead to an exhibition presentation in which the student will present his/her work.



Individual written examination, 5-day home -assignment


Final project


On the diploma, the title of the final project will be entered. A letter grade will be given, on a scale from A to F, where A is the highest possible grade, and E is the lowest passing grade. Both parts of the examination must receive passing marks before the examination is considered passed. The teaching practice period must be given a passing grade in order to receive a diploma.

Please refer to Telemark University College Examination Regulations for further information.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Marte Gulliksen <>, last modified Liang Xiaoli - 13/12/2006