Thesis Studio II

Syllabus
Instructor Aaron Ganci
Office hours by appointment or via Skype
Office: HR 154
Institution Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI
Term Spring 2015
Course HER V693
Section 32079
Time ARR
Location HR 136

Description

This is the second of two courses that compose a year long experience of initiating and conducting a specified design research process in order to frame, refine, and engage a researchable question through a specified design project.

Work focuses on integration and application of skills for research, problem framing and process management during a specified design research project.

The cross-disciplinary research activities are directed to leverage knowledge, resources and perspectives across the entire university and public communities. All investigations occur within a territory that advances the role of design thinking in business innovation, organizational leadership, public policy, social advocacy and direct democracy.

Co-requisite

Course is required for all majors in the M.F.A. degree program in Visual Communication. This course requires co-requisite enrollment in HER—V 692 / Thesis Writing II.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply creative problem solving process knowledge and process skills to essential challenges (by shifting from a concern for designed objects to an understanding of designed experiences) in an effort to provide relevant solutions to the real underlying problems that people encounter.
  • Employ appropriate design methods for evaluating & optimizing ideas and implementing plans, applying attitudes and perspectives that transcend assignments.
  • Identify, comprehend and apply design processes & design process skills for interdisciplinary collaborative action research by identifying patterns & framing insights, exploring ideas and conceiving plans, prototyping & optimizing proposals, and implementing solutions.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of the selection and application of specific synthetic methodologies within a specific design context by analyzing the relevance of research outcomes.
  • Communicate effectively in visual, written and oral presentations and demonstrate the ability to analyze and evaluate visual, written and oral presentations of others.

Course Content

Creative Problem Solving Process KNOWLEDGE about

  • evaluating & selecting ideas
  • planning implementation
  • gaining acceptance for plans
  • implementing plans

Creative Problem Solving Process SKILLS for

  • conducting divergent thinking
  • deferring judgment
  • conducting convergent thinking
  • working and meeting with stakeholders

Design evaluation and optimization tools and techniques

  • user studies
  • criteria grids
  • paired comparison analysis

Schedule

Week Class Topic
1 12-16 Jan Individual or group feedback sessions
2 19 Jan No Class: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
20-23 Jan Individual or group feedback sessions; Initial Committee Meeting in week 2-3.
3 26-30 Jan Individual or group feedback sessions; Initial Committee Meeting in week 2-3.
Aaron gone: field research
4 2-6 Feb Individual or group feedback sessions
5 9-13 Feb Individual or group feedback sessions
6 16-20 Feb Individual or group feedback sessions; Midterm Review in week 6-8.
Aaron gone: field research
7 23-27 Feb Individual or group feedback sessions; Midterm Review in week 6-8.
8 2-6 Mar Individual or group feedback sessions; Midterm Review in week 6-8.
9 9-13 Mar Individual or group feedback sessions; Start discussion of Thesis exhibit
10 16-20 Mar No Class: Spring Break
11 23-27 Mar Individual or group feedback sessions
12 30 Mar-3 Apr Individual or group feedback sessions; Oral Defense in week 12.
13 6-10 Apr Individual or group feedback sessions
14 13-15 Apr Individual or group feedback sessions
15 20-24 Apr Individual or group feedback sessions; Prepare for exhibition.
16 27 Apr-1 May Individual or group feedback sessions; Prepare for exhibition.
Finals 7 May Thesis Exhibition

Grading

Your grade will be broken down into the categories below*. Participation includes: being present and on time, asking and answering questions, helping to improve understanding of course content for others. Your full attention is expected during class time.

Category % of total
Conducting research plan and written thesis document 30%
Reflection on research process and outcomes 10%
Participation in committee meetings 30%
Participation in thesis exhibition 20%

*Categories and percentage breakdown subject to change.

How Attendance might impact your grade

Attendance is important and expected. The structure of this class calls for inconsistent meeting times. As the semester moves on, it will be important for you to establish your own schedule and plan activities accordingly. However, when the instructor requests a specific meeting time for the full group, you are expected to be in attendance. If you are unable to attend, documentation for your absence will be required.

Grading scale
A+ 100-98
A 97-93
A- 92-90
B+ 89-87
B 86-83
B- 82-80
C+ 79-77
C 76-73
C- 72-70
D+ 69-67
D 66-63
D- 62-60
F 59-0

Readings

Herr, Kathryn and Gary Anderson. 2014 The Action Research Dissertation: A Guide for Students and Faculty (second edition) (Amazon, IUPUI WorldCat)

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. 2008. The craft of research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Amazon, IUPUI WorldCat)

Hart, Christopher. 1999. Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination. (Amazon, IUPUI WorldCat)

Turabian, Kate L., Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. 2013. A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations: Chicago Style for students and researchers. (Amazon, IUPUI WorldCat)

The Chicago manual of style (16th ed.). 2010. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. (Amazon, IUPUI WorldCat)

Sanders, Elizabeth B.-N., and Pieter Jan Stappers. 2012. Convivial design toolbox: generative research for the front end of design. Amsterdam: BIS. (Amazon, IUPUI WorldCat)

Kumar, Vijay. 2013. 101 design methods a structured approach for driving innovation in your organization. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. (Amazon, IUPUI WorldCat)

Policies

General Course Policies

All university approved course policies apply to this course. To reference the policies about course withdrawal, disabilities, academic integrity, and more, please see http://registrar.iupui.edu/course_policies.html.

Academic Integrity

Pay careful attention to the university policies on Academic misconduct. Cheating, fabrication, dishonesty, interference, and especially plagiarism will not be tolerated in this course. You can find more information about these topics in Indiana University's Code of Student Rights, Responsibilites, and Conduct.

Other important links

  • For students with documented disabilities, please visit Adaptive Educational Services.
  • The university has several policies and procedures when dealing with emergencies. You can find many of them, including Active Shooter situations, Bomb threats, Fire, and more at Protect IU. If you have not signed up for IU-Notify, you should now. This service keeps you informed of emergency or weather related events happening on campus. You can sign up here.
  • Here are links to the 2014 Academic Calendar and Finals schedule.