Pedagogical models from a lighting design studio

A. O. Asojo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper discusses a pedagogical approach for teaching a lighting design studio. Anderson's ACT-R theory is utilized to guide the learning process. Anderson's ACT-R theory focuses on three stages of skill acquisition: cognitive, associative, and autonomous stages. These three stages offer implications for teaching lighting. Early cognitivists offered many theories on how people solve problems. While early theorist focused mainly on explaining how people solve problems, contemporary theorist focus on cognitive strategies and information processes people use to solve problems. Knowledge is a key component of information processing in problem-solving. Cognitive Psychologist identified two distinct types of knowledge: declarative and procedural. Anderson notes "declarative knowledge is explicit knowledge which we can report and of which we are consciously aware". Procedural knowledge involves knowing how to execute tasks. Anderson notes "human cognition is always purposeful, directed to achieving goals and to removing obstacles to those goals". ACT-R's main assumption is that knowledge can be classified as declarative and procedural. Declarative knowledge is factual knowledge, while procedural knowledge is how to perform cognitive tasks. Students are taught accurate and elaborate knowledge of lighting design principles to help them problem-solving. Learning is achieved through expository and discovery methods. Expository are teacher centered examples of which include lectures and interactive presentations on lighting systems, as well as field trips to lighting laboratories and showrooms to offer real life context for students. The discovery method is emphasized in hands on experiences. Feedback is given during all three distinct phases of problem solving to correct any disequilibrium students may have. Eventually, students achieve automaticity due to continued practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLight in Engineering, Architecture and the Environment
EditorsK. Domke, C. A. Brebbia
PublisherWIT Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781845645502
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event1st International Conference on Lighting in Engineering, Architecture and the Environment, LIGHT 2011 - Poznan, Poland
Duration: May 17 2011May 19 2011

Publication series

NameWIT Transactions on the Built Environment
ISSN (Print)1743-3509


Other1st International Conference on Lighting in Engineering, Architecture and the Environment, LIGHT 2011


  • Architectural lighting
  • Cognitive strategies
  • Design problem solving and instructional design
  • Lighting design


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