Master of Education Research Theses

Date of Successful Defense


Date Degree Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M.Ed.)




Andrew Runyan, Ph.D.


Graphic Design, Classroom Critiques, Cooperative Learning, Higher Education


The author of this action research study surveyed both graphic design students and graphic design instructors about their critique experiences to discover instructors and students both identified a lack of student participation as well as the issue of students getting hurt feelings and becoming discouraged as common critique concerns. The author designed and implemented a treatment called Design Structures to increase student participation during crits. To improve the quality of experience of design students during crits, the author incorporated cooperative learning strategies developed by Spencer and Miguel Kagan (2009) into the Design Structures treatment. The author used the experience sampling method (Csikzentmihalyi, Rathunde, & Whalen, 1993) to compare the quality of experience of community college design students during whole-class crits and during Design Structures crits. Quality of experience levels were consistently higher overall for students during cooperative learning -specifically in the areas of self-esteem, perceived importance of task, challenge, and skill. Furthermore, more design students were in flow and less apathetic during decentralized crits using Design Structures than centralized crits utilizing teacher-led whole-class instruction. In fact, results showed no design students as apathetic during Design Structures crits. The author interviewed design instructors to discover their perceptions, as well as misconceptions, of cooperative learning methodology in addition to their openness to learning more about how to effectively incorporate cooperative learning into their critique pedagogy.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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