Distance design education articles

Recipes on the blog
Articles on the blog
CHEAD Coronavirus Knowledge Hub
University of the Arts London teaching online Guide (some excellent tips and guidance, well communicated and readily applied)
AIGA Design Teaching Resource (lots of great lesson plans and ideas)
University of the Arts London Exchange blog (some great examples and case studies of UAL’s digital learning and practice)
Teaching-Design-ONLINE: shared, open doc with links to resources and tips on distance design education.
The proceedings from the 2019 DRS Learn X Design Conferences (Free and Open access conference papers on design education)

General distance education material:

10 distance education concepts from the OU: Teaching at a Distance: Methods that Work
OU OpenLearn course: Take your teaching online
Virna Rossi’s Inclusive Learning Design webinar series
Sally Brown’s (@ProfSallyBrown) Assessment alternatives at a time of university closures
The EU funded project EPALE shared a list of online learning tools:

For students:
OpenLearn course on learning: Learning how to Learn
OpenLearn course on being a distance learner: Being and OU [distance] Student
OpenLearn course on basic digital literacies: Digital Literacy: succeeding in a digital world

Articles on pivoting online:
The OU’s Martin Weller’s blog (Martin’s doing a great discussion drop-in series with some very relevant topics):
The OU’s Doug Clow’s post What to do if you suddenly find yourself teaching at a distance on WonHE
From EADTU and DCU (via @KarenK): Moving Swiftly to Online Teaching: Valuable Tips from Experienced Educators

Open Design education material – Interesting video interviews with design practitioners and researchers on a range of design subjects.
Design Education Talks, on YouTube; Apple Podcast; Spotify – Interviews and discussion with design educators and practitioners about design education.
Place Journal Field Notes: Pandemic Teaching – interesting collection of observational and auto-ethnographic accounts of the pivot to distance and online teaching.
Dr Alison Hardy’s Talking D&T Podcast – great resource for Design and Technology teachers – it is focused on K12 education but I promise you there is a lot to apply in HE here, too…

Working online

Interaction Design Foundation website: (FREE, HUGE, and EXCELLENT resource for interaction design The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.

Tools and services


Video conferencing

Facebook Live
Google Hangout
Microsoft Teams
Whereby (free for small meetings with clean interface)
Blackboard collaborate
Adobe Connect
Whereby (free for 4 people; browser based++; simple interface)
Jitsi (Open Source++; broswer based++; simple interface)

Webcasting and streaming
YouTube Live
Facebook Live
Google Hangout

Online whiteboards

Online whiteboards are great synchronous ways to quickly connect using shared scribbles and sketches. Use them in conjunction with other resources and to widen particiaption and accessibility, too.

AWW Board:
Web Whiteboard:
Miro: (free, but signup required. Good tools)

Online workspace tools

(Note that many of these tools and those in Virtual Design Studios and Sketching and Journaling sections can be similar in some functions. Rarely do you get the perfect online workspace that does exactly what you want, though!)

Slack: Thread- and team-based workflow tool with good integration to GoogleDocs.

Trello: – A shared workspace focused around tasks and organisation of activity. Plugins (powerups) can add more functionality but it is suited to formal and process-based activity. Try the #DistanceDesignEd Trello here:

Virtual Design Studios

OpenDesignStudio: – this is the studio we use at the OU. It does require Moodle (it’s a plugin for that VLE), though, and the technical setup is something to consider.

Padlet: – Repository and slot based studio, allowing a range of upload media. A very easy and good starting place for virtual studios and works well for all stages of curricula. See Virtual Design Studios [coming soon…]. Try the #DistanceDesignEd Padlet here:

Trello: – A shared workspace focused around tasks and organisation of activity. Plugins (powerups) can add more functionality but it is suited to formal and process-based activity. Try the #DistanceDesignEd Trello here:

Mural: – Halfway between a studio and an online collaboration tool. – Repository based sharing studio. Clean interface with good support for organising ‘spaces’ (e.g. channels; groups; studio; themes; etc.). (thanks to @tpjames_ and @andre_murnieks for this one)

Image based virtual studios can be created without specific software using mainstream social media tools. These have the advantage of being exceptionally quick to set up and get working Try:
Instagram: (Instagram or Facebook account required)
Pinterest: (Pinterest account required)
Google Photos:

Sketching and journaling

Evernote: Good for journaling and sketching, too (depending on hardware).
OneNote … (anyone?)

Screencasting software

Camtasia: (Paid software; excellent and easy to use; trial available. Particularly good algorithms for video file size when doing software demonstration)
Screencast-O-Matic: (Free, sign-up)


CompendiumDS: (Concept mapping software that allows students to record their design process to be easily assessed)

Online Portfolios

Adobe Portfolio:

Conferences, organisation and larger events

A Comprehensive List of Tips, Tools, and Examples for Event Organizers During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Doodle – meeting organiser and online poll.

Remo – Virtual conference meetup software: Webinar, meeting,

Student degree shows, exhibitions and portolios

Shared document listing 2020 online degree, portfolio showcases and end of year shows (please add to this)
The Social Distance Art Project
The Lecture in Progress Degree Show Listings

Open Educational Resources

Theo Kuechel’s Open Content Toolkit:

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