A conventional classroom is usually a confined space which limits the insitu aspect of learning in design. Students, especially in their early years in design education, should have opportunities to explore and analyze key design elements and principles in various interior spaces. The activity was introduced and developed in my “Introduction to Lighting Design” class. In order to facilitate understanding and application of how the components of lighting design are integrated and designed in various interior spaces, it is essential for students to analyze the components in a physical context. I used mobile technology as a tool to provide an opportunity for students to visit various interior spaces and conduct meaningful visual analyses. Instead of seeking specific educational mobile application, I chose a socialnetworking mobile application which students in this generation are mostly familiar with and constantly use: Instagram. Through Instagram, a photo/text/videosharing application, students are able to easily share visualand verbal/textanalysis of lighting design components in relation to interior spatial quality and details. Their visual analyses are then shared with an instructor every week through a courserestricted mobile account. This method of instruction enabled instant feedback and the ability to converse with students on their analyses beyond physical boundary.
The activity is divided into three phases. The outcomes of each phase has helped to improve clarity of the activity, by integrating expected learning outcomes. Students may be an expert in using the mobile application, but specific intention and guide of using the mobile device in learning should be communicated thoroughly. A visually descriptive rubric was developed to aid in the use of mobile learning as a result of this activity. It identifies three main categories of lighting design analysis: Lighting + Space (L+S), Lighting + Color (L+C), and Lighting + Aesthetics (L+A) which aligns with expected learning outcomes and provides a hierarchy of information. This form of rubric is more effective and appropriate in concert with the mobile platform because it provides visually clear direction on how to do design analysis using a mobile device. Integrating mobile application as a learning tool allows students to develop critical eyes to analyze design components and apply design ideas in real physical context, outside of a constrained classroom space. Students also have fun doing this activity because it provides an opportunity for them to visit various interior spaces and apply knowledge that they have gained from a classroom. The activity also corresponds to their way of communication by allowing them to share visual and verbal analysis instantly. This methodology may be applicable in other disciplines to help extend knowledge beyond the formal classroom setting.