by Patrick Twyford, Australian Catholic University

This WebQuest will guide a group of four Year 10 Design & Technology students through the process of researching, conceptualising & designing a prosthetic device to assist a professional surfer who has lost a leg. Students will assume the roles of different design professionals and specialists within a team of designers working collaboratively to share specialist knowledge and concepts and synthesise these into an effective design solution.

Teacher Introduction

This WebQuest was developed as a part of Australian Catholic University's course EDFD589 Effective Teaching and Professional Practice. The aim was to create an engaging ICT resource and employs a role-play premise to lead students through a simulated professional design task.

The role-play involves students playing specialist design professional roles in a team contracted to design a prosthetic device to assist a professional surfer who has lost a leg in a shark attack return to competitive surfing. This topic encapsulated a good focus for research into emerging technologies, material properties and selection, designing a product for specific user and
functional needs and involved contextualising design within a topic of potential student interest (surfing).

The WebQuest incorporates groupwork to reflect the nature of most industry design projects, using the different roles to simulate the myriad of different design specialisations and professionals from other disciplines one may need to collaborate with on any given project.
Simulated professional roles also facilitate students experiencing the necessary focused research or 'experting-up' a professional designer often must do in the early stages of a new project.

The WebQuest groupwork element is intended to develop interpersonal and visual communication skills used in collaborative designing and give students experience in the use of group idea-generation and designing.
The groupwork gives students experience in giving, receiving and incorporating peer and client feedback into design work and in justifying and explaining design features, aesthetics, functionality, decision making and problem solving that goes into a design.