The Value Sensitive Design in Higher Education (VASE) project (2018-2021) was based on a collaboration between Malmö University (coordinator), Aarhus University, and Eindhoven University of Technology, and co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
The aim of the partnership was to design, develop, pilot test and implement research-based and innovative teaching resources for teaching value sensitive design* approaches to students at design and development programmes at university levels. The explorations resulted in an online open educational resource (OER) that supports teachers who are interested in addressing the role values play in design as part of their pedagogical practices. In doing so, they create conditions for students to grow into responsible designers and developers of future technologies.
The VASE OER, https://teachingforvaluesindesign.eu .
The OER offers a collection of 28 teaching activities, 12 assessment activities and a series of inspiring case descriptions illustrating how these activities can be put into practice in the classroom. The collection is accompanied by learning outcomes structured in a curriculum compass outlining some of the core competencies to become a responsible designer.
JOIN THE COMMUNITY
Sign up to the LinkedIn group “Teaching for values in design in higher education”, https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9043787/, and join a community of teachers that are interested in teaching their students about values in design and how to support them in becoming responsible designers.
BACKGROUND TO THE VASE PROJECT
Scholars in a wide range of disciplines have acknowledged that values are embedded in technical systems and devices, consciously or unconsciously. New technologies, such as AI and Big Data have the potential to either strengthen or undermine values, so designers should be very aware of the influence of their designs, take responsibility for their designs and be able to reflectively address the role that values play in this design.
Design and development students have the possibilities to make powerful changes in society through the design of digital technologies, for good or for bad. Therefore, higher education on design and development, has the obligation to provide students with the awareness of the role values play in design and the skills and tools needed to become responsible designers of the future. However, many design, information science, and computer science programmes do not explicitly address and incorporate this in a structured way. VASE aims to meet the societal need to provide teachers with the teaching resources needed to effectively educate their students to reflectively consider and intentionally work with values in their designs.
*VALUE SENSITIVE DESIGN
Value Sensitive Design is a theoretically grounded approach to the design of technology that accounts for human values in a principled and systematic manner throughout the design process. The VSD approach has been under active development and use since the 1990s, led Batya Friedman and David Hendry among others at the Value Sensitive Design Lab at the University of Washington.