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Engaging Design Projects: A PBL Framework for the New Normal Communication Design Education

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems book series (LNNS,volume 391)


Communication Design has witnessed novel approaches and methods of teaching learning in context of the new normal needs. Project Based Learning (PBL) courses in Graphic Design have seen novel hybridization formats to explore with other design disciplines. In the new normal times, graphic design (communication design students) at NID Ahmedabad could undertake ‘Engaging Design Projects’ based on Blended teaching–learning methods, such as: Individual/ Skill-Based Rotation Blended Learning, Flex Blended Learning, Flipped/ Remote Blended Classes and Supplemental Learning Activities as part of the instructions-cum-exchange format for two ‘Design Projects’ modules conducted by the researcher for her M.Des students of Graphic Design at NID Ahmedabad (2020). Each student took forward his/her core strength areas among design domains in graphic design, such as: Storytelling, Illustration, Indigenous Letter Design/ Indic Typography, Digital Content Curation and Design, e-book-making, Strategic Systems Design, Navigation and Image Building, Branding Local Spaces/ Ventures, etc. The project outcomes showcase a process-to-solution journey presented and reviewed in three project reviews organized and final documentations submitted for each of these Design Projects. The present paper proposes a PBL framework applied that is constructed of 4- Pillars: Pitch, Process, Product and Performance. Each pillar includes blended teaching–learning methods, core strength areas and the respective learning outcomes; and the assessment approaches developed in conducting these Engaging Design Projects. This PBL framework envisions future opportunities of Blended Learning for Engaging Inter-disciplinary design projects for developing project-based learning cum instructional design pedagogy for communication design education.


  • Design projects
  • Project Based Learning (PBL)
  • Engagement methods
  • Communication design
  • Blended instruction
  • Design education

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-94277-9_21
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  1. 1.

    An online library that exhibits of exemplary classroom practice involving varied applications of analog + digital technologies on a range of subject areas and levels —elated to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

  2. 2.

    Faculty Anchors are the ‘facilitators’ who moderate, plan, manage and deploy certain teaching–learning inputs as part of PBL approach specially applied for project-based courses—wherein, students select, execute and submit the outcomes and validation of a certain real-time design problem/need/scenario, etc. as individual design projects at NID.

  3. 3.

    Design projects targeting digital ecosystems include a feature, release or other digital asset of a product/ design solution fitting in the platform of a brand or how the user interacts with that solution. These systems are about providing, regulating, supporting and enhancing the channels which use the system. It is not about one channel, it is about the connection between these channels, and how they interact with each other.

  4. 4.

    Hybrid learning can be defined as a learning approach that combines both remote learning and in-person learning to improve student experience and ensure learning continuity. Refer:

  5. 5.

    Learning to Learn is that role of education that provides us with knowledge in the broadest sense includes the necessary concepts, theories around them, methods of applying them, the technology that help us in their practical use and the ability to acquire new knowledge in the future. Refer:

  6. 6.

    Pre-proposals are five to six page draft of ‘an idea of a project’— including the design problem and elabo-rations for the problem-based approach aid the design process for DP-III module students at NID (2020).

  7. 7.

    Paraverbal refers to the all that we say through the tone, pitch and pacing. It is how we say something that accounts for approximately 38% of what gets communicated. Refer: CADRE [Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education].

  8. 8.

    e-resources by NID’s library for remote access by students and faculties outside campus – provided a detailed depth-resource of e-databases and e-journals (2020) amidst the Covid-19 pandemic distance learning continuous educational programme.


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This paper is dedicated to all Masters in Design, Graphic Design students of 2018 and 2019 batches—who undertook PBL courses of DP III and DP II respectively that anchored as a faculty member, 2020 at NID Ahmedabad.

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Nath, N. (2022). Engaging Design Projects: A PBL Framework for the New Normal Communication Design Education. In: Chakrabarti, D., Karmakar, S., Salve, U.R. (eds) Ergonomics for Design and Innovation. HWWE 2021. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 391. Springer, Cham.

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