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Elham Morshedzadeh, PhD, IDSA

Assistant Professor, University of Houston

Elham Morshedzadeh, PhD, is an industrial designer, usability researcher, and educator whose research focuses on healthcare, community-centered design, and usability. She has taught design internationally and in the US, and was recently honored with the 2021 Young Educator Award from the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA).

Since 2017, she has collaborated with clinicians, engineers and faculty at Virginia Tech to create unique research opportunities that are also learning experiences for her students, such as a study funded by the National Institutes of Health to design a comprehensive telemedical encounter for infants and preschool children, a sponsored program with the Veteran Affairs Hospital in Salem, VA and Walter Reeds National Military Medical Center.

Prior to teaching, Dr. Morshedzadeh spent 10 years as a professional industrial designer in Iran, where she was lead designer on a range of high-profile projects. She now incorporates her prior industry experience working with teams of engineers, anthropologists, and architects into the classroom by emphasizing the importance of experiential, evidence-based decision-making in participatory design. In August 2022, she will be continuing her teaching and research at the University of Houston, where she is the new Presidential Frontiers Assistant Professor for Healthcare Innovation.

Assessment Strategy for Improving Student Learning Outcome Evaluations in Project-based Industrial Design Studio Courses

Education Symposium

Sept 14, 2022


9:20 AM - 10:00 AM

Co-presented with Martha Sullivan, Assistant Professor of Practice and Chair of Industrial Design Program, College of Architecture, Art and Design, Virginia Tech.

Industrial Design studios are inherently project-based, experiential-learning courses and therefore can be difficult to assess with methods traditionally used to measure student learning outcomes (SLO) in conventional lecture-based courses. In this workshop, we will explain the path that the Industrial Design faculty at Virginia Tech, in collaboration with the Office of Analytics and Institutional Effectiveness, took to design a new process for evaluating the effectiveness of the program's teaching strategies which involves students, faculty, administrators, and outside collaborators in a controlled event. Using our experience, we will ask attendees in groups of five to explore and discuss the student learning outcomes appropriate for ID programs, considering a possibly different future for ID education including various fields and focuses. Also, in a second discussion session, we will task each group to configure the best strategy to assess the selected SLO. We will provide some examples of qualitative and quantitative methods to help each group design methods of assessment.

Information gathered during assessments can help a program identify adjustments or needed changes to the curriculum to improve the expected learning outcomes for students. (Zlatkin- Troitschanskaia et al., 2016). But not all tools for assessment are compatible or effective for different teaching systems or without a clear assessment statement or plan. (Deardorff, 2014) After this session, participants will have gained awareness of student learning outcomes across different industrial design programs and fields of study. Participants will have the opportunity to articulate student learning outcomes that are important to their programs as well. Along with learning outcomes, possible assessment tools and methods that generate meaningful data in regards to designing or refining the program curriculum will be presented, discussed, and summarized for internalization by participants. Participants will have had the opportunity to reflect on their own program, develop a greater knowledge of work from peer institutions, and build network within higher education of folks implementing assessment strategies.




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