A closer look into pedagogical roles of supporting staff in design studio courses: the case of research assistants in Turkey

Efilti P., Gelmez K.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN EDUCATION, vol.33, no.3, pp.1143-1172, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10798-022-09760-3
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.1143-1172
  • Keywords: Supporting staff, Research assistant, Pedagogical roles, Design education, Design pedagogy, Design studio course, TEACHING ASSISTANTS, PROFESSIONAL STAFF, GRADUATE, COMPETENCES, KNOWLEDGE, STUDENTS, GTA
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Supporting staff, as research and teaching assistants, in higher education carries significant pedagogical responsibility, especially in practice-based domains. In this respect, understanding the pedagogical roles of these participants of design studio courses is particularly critical. This study aims to investigate the research assistants' pedagogical roles within design studio courses in Turkey through an exploratory sequential mixed method. Adopting a phenomenographic approach, the exploratory study, relying on semi-structured and in-depth interviews, was conducted with the voluntary participation of twenty-six research assistants from industrial design departments. Sequentially, a survey study was conducted to support the exploratory study. The findings show that there appear fifteen roles of research assistants, both pedagogical and non-pedagogical, active and passive teaching approaches, in-studio and out-of-studio contexts. The pedagogical roles were also discussed and mapped to compare with each other.