Using Kolb's Experiential Learning Cycle to lead students in learning about sewable circuits

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2017-01-01
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McKinney, Ellen
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International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) Annual Conference Proceedings
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The first national meeting of textile and clothing professors took place in Madison, Wisconsin in June 1959. With a mission to advance excellence in education, scholarship and innovation, and their global applications, the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) is a professional and educational association of scholars, educators, and students in the textile, apparel, and merchandising disciplines in higher education.

This site provides free, public access to the ITAA annual conference proceedings beginning in 2015. Previous proceedings can be found by following the "Additional ITAA Proceedings" link on the left sidebar of this page.

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An ever-increasing incorporation of technology into apparel products is seen (MarketResearch.com, 2016). However, apparel curriculums do not typically teach how to integrate electrical components into garments, leaving a knowledge gap for students entering the workforce. To address this gap, a wearable technology learning unit and project was developed and implemented in an undergraduate creative design studio class. Using the Kolb (1984) Experiential Learning Cycle to structure the knowledge-building of sewable circuits was effective in helping students overcome their initial fears of working with electricity. The learning atmosphere was fun and playful (Figure 2). Each success (or failure) spurred the students on to further experimentation and further knowledge gains. Students were able to use their sewable circuits knowledge to design and produce their creative wearable garment ensembles, even branching out to learn about and incorporate additional electronic components. The exercise will be used again.

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