Reading students’ minds : design assessment in distance education

Jones, Derek (2014). Reading students’ minds : design assessment in distance education. Journal of Learning Design, 7(1) pp. 27–39.




This paper considers the design of assessment for students of design according to behaviourist versus experiential pedagogical approaches, relating these to output-oriented as opposed to process-oriented assessment methods. It is part case study and part recognition of the importance of process in design education and how this might be applied in other disciplines generally, through the use of visual thinking and assessment. Making use of experience gained from The Open University’s entry level design course, U101: Design Thinking, the main assessment software (CompendiumDS) is described and presented as an alternative to ‘convergent endpoint’ artefacts of assessment. It is argued that the software and assessment design allow the evaluation of ‘unseen thinking’, providing an immediate focus on process rather than deterministic or behaviourist outcomes alone. Moreover, this evaluation can be applied at scale, without extensive changes to existing systems and may offer a compromise between measuring outcomes and the value of student-centred learning experiences.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions