Increasing the Educational Impact Following A Field Study Programme


Field Trip, Industrial Design, Pedagogy, Design Education, Experiential Learning, Applied learning


Design students return from field trips abroad brimming with new ideas and a greater understanding of their chosen discipline. However, if their observations and knowledge are not soon applied, the students hold only fond memories of a fun trip abroad. We believe that student’s retention and application of concepts will increase if educators give students greater autonomy on the trip and also expect and enable opportunities to apply their accrued knowledge on their own projects upon returning home. Nine third and fourth-year industrial design students Brigham Young University participated in a weeklong field study abroad to Dutch Design Week (DDW) in Eindhoven, Netherlands. A week after the completion of the study abroad the students filled out a survey about their motivations, feelings, criticisms, and aspects of the trip that influenced them as designers. Three and a half months later the students took a second survey asking about how they have applied insights gained from participation in DDW to their current projects. The results from the both surveys suggest the impact of the field study trip decreased over time. The observations and more open-ended questions in the survey helped determine if and how the students applied their conceptual knowledge to their current projects as well as other outcomes of the trip. In addition, the paper suggests possible strategies and research opportunities for future field study experiences

Original Publication Citation

Larsen, A., & Howell, B. (2018). Increasing the Educational Impact Following A Field Study Programme. Conference proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education; Design Education: Diversity or Conformity? (E&PDE18) (pp. 56-61), London, UK, September 6-7.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology



University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor