Multi-Sensory Learning: Using Problem-Solving, Tactile, Metaphorical and Experiential Learning to Better Prepare Students for the Global Marketplace

By Rukmini Ravikumar and Amy Johnson.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Trade, migration, pandemics, global warming, and a radical shift in wealth from the West to the East — all of these factors and more indicate that we’re living in a world of global challenges that will require global solutions. Educational institutions and industry both discuss the importance of global competencies, but they each do so with different intents and emphases. Industry focuses on qualities such as adaptability, cultural awareness and resourcefulness; while Education focuses on the development of language skills. Technology has created multi-sensory solutions to bridge language gaps, educators can follow this lead and move forward with global competencies. This paper will explore teaching techniques that emphasize the learning of concepts over language through creative problem-solving, experiential learning, observation, tactile and metaphorical exercises. Case studies of hands-on activities will also be included. These approaches will assist instructors to develop more inclusive and transformative environments in their classrooms where students from various language and cultural backgrounds have the opportunity to become engaged learners, build life-long learning skills and gain the confidence to solve complex problems at local, national and international levels. Such a shift is necessary to transition education to the next level.

Keywords: Teaching Techniques, Creative Problem-solving Experiential Learning Observation Metaphorical Exercises Global Competencies

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.655-666. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.936MB).

Rukmini Ravikumar

Chair, Department of Design, The University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, USA

Prof. Ravikumar was born and raised in Chennai (Madras), India. She has a Bachelor’s degree in History of Fine Art and Drawing and Painting from the University of Madras, India, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Iowa State University, USA. She has worked as a Graphic Designer in India and the United States of America. Her research interests include cross-cultural design, graphic design technology and design education. Prof. Ravikumar is presently the Chair of the Department of Design and the Graduate Advisor for the MFA program at the University of Central Oklahoma, USA. She teaches classes in new media design technology and design research.

Amy Johnson

Assistant Chair, Design, The University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, USA

Prof. Johnson graduated from Iowa State University with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design in 1994 and relocated to Oklahoma City where she began work as a designer with Walker Creative, Inc. In 1999 she graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a M.F.A. in Studio Arts. She returned to Walker Creative, Inc. in 2001 as Creative Director. Her work has been published in Communication Arts and Print. Prof. Johnson presently teaches graphic design at the graduate and undergraduate level at the University of Central Oklahoma where she also serves as the Assistant Chair of the Department of Design. Her research interests include, creative problem-solving in design and education and visual narratives in communication.

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