Design Educators Conference Webinar: “I hated assessment" & Health + Design

The RGD is pleased to announce the Design Educators Conference Webinar: “I hated assessment, well, I get why we did it" & Health + Design: Expanding the Undergraduate Curriculum to Embrace Real World Problems


In 2021, the 5th Design Educators Conference will consist of: 2 Keynote Presentations and 12 Themed Concurrent Sessions. The Conference's 5 themes are: Empower (the learners), Embrace (the classroom), Expand (the experience), Engage (with external participation) and Equity (within all spaces).




  • “I hated assessment, well, I get why we did it" by Tracey Waller, Royal College of Art

  • Health + Design: Expanding the Undergraduate Curriculum to Embrace Real World Problems by Gillian Harvey, U of Alberta

Date: Friday, February 26th at 1:00 PM ET


Register here


You can check all Design Educators Conference Webinars dates here.


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Theme: Empower – the learners

“I hated assessment, well, I get why we did it. I liked finishing off all my projects with a deadline, yeah, I quite liked it actually.”


Presented by Tracey Waller, Head of Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art in London, UK


Critical thinking is essential to understand the implications of new social orders, politics and rapid technological advancements. The prevailing hierarchical classroom structure is not enough to support a type of thinking that is essential for innovation. Our pedagogy calls out for insights that further critique the reiteration of the ‘canons’ of educational frameworks with the intention to act. Tracey introduces a case study of a dialogic assessment model which was co-designed with students and responded to student feedback about their experience of assessment. The student feedback was “Assessment is being done to us, not with us.” This research is based on the principle that the student benefits from being present during the assessment of their work, taking part in the discussion with tutors and arriving at a grade in collaboration with them. This model gives students the agency to be both assessor and assessed, thus giving them lifelong skills, independence and confidence to judge the quality of their own work and that of others, in turn making them aware of the goals and standards of the subject.



  • How do you empower students to become active learners?
  • How do we train and create an ecosystem of resilience?
  • What systematically needs to change in order for assessment to be executed with students taking part in grading?
  • How does the classroom dynamic shift if we involve students in the assessment process
  • What other opportunities exist in changing the assessment model?


Health + Design: Expanding the Undergraduate Curriculum to Embrace Real World Problems


Presented by Gillian Harvey, Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada


In this case study, students from an undergraduate design program are introduced to design research techniques in teams to gain an understanding of the visual landscape of health education. It considers the designer’s role and responsibility in creating persuasive messages and designed objects in different media that have the power to suggest a new approach to social design education in undergraduate curriculum. As a problem-based learning approach, design and medicine work well together. As Frascara (2017) notes, pedagogy in medicine has recently discovered the value of problem-based learning. Leading educational institutions have adopted it as a way to introduce students into the realities of human health. Design education has always been organized as problem-based learning, embedded in projects. Gillian shows how incorporating design thinking methods, such as visualizing, diagramming, systematic exploration and creating frameworks for understanding, can help designers interpret, understand and design the visual messages that they create. The call to action is for us (designers) to reconnect, preserve, value the ‘work of a conversation’ in how it shapes our lives.



  • How do we decide who and what to include in the experience of design education?
  • How can educators connect design curriculum to healthy education.
  • As we culturally become more aware of health importance, how can design thinking curriculum include this aspect?
  • How do we both teach and communicate the importance of design to address real world problems?