Author: Kröger, Tarja
Name of publication: Paint Software as a Design Tool of a 12-year old pupil in Visual Design
Type of publication: Licentiate's Thesis. University of Joensuu. Savonlinna Department of Teacher Education
Date: May 1995

The aim of this research is to find out what kind of a tool a computer is in a design process among 12-year old pupils. The purpose of this research is not to compare a computer with other tools but to understand the phenomenon in a holistic manner.

A research strategy was a case study using a multiple-case design. The units of analysis, or "cases", were nine pupils and their design processes. Pupils participated in a 'textile club' that was held at the Normal School of Savonlinna in the autumn term 1994. The theme of the club was 'patchwork'. The software used for designing patchwork was painting software called 'NeoPaint'. The researcher position was an insider, i.e. the researcher has been a teacher of textile craft at the Normal School of Savonlinna and has taught those nine pupils two years ago.

The data was gathered using multiple sources of evidence: structured questionnaires, tests, videotapes, semi-structured interviews, pupils' drawings (designs), and photographs of products (patchwork). All sources of evidence were analysed together, so that they complete and validate each others (methodological triangulation).

The data was analysed so that pupils were described first as a group and then as nine individual cases. These descriptions served as the basis for the cross-case analyses and results. The main results were presented in the form of hypotheses for further research.

According to the results it seems that there are three types of computer users among pupils concerning textile design. The categories are based on differences how pupils generate a design. There are (1) pupils who use a computer for presenting an already conceiced holistic image, (2) pupils who use a computer for constructing and manipulating an image that includes at least one guiding idea, component (e.g. colour, fabric, pattern), and (3) pupils who try to use a computer for inventing ideas or images still unconceived. NeoPaint software seems to support pupils who use a computer for constructing and manipulating an image that includes at least one guiding idea, component.


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