A Study of Influential Factors in Online Teaching in Architectural Design Studios; the Case of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University, during COVID – 19 Pandemic

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University

2 Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

3 PhD Candidate in Architecture, Shahid Beheshti University


After the COVID-19 pandemic, most educational interactions were redirected towards virtual environments. Architectural education was no exception, and continued in virtual and online environments. But architecture education has architectural design studios at its core, which makes it different from other disciplines. Architectural design studios need a cooperative, multi-sensory, and experimental environment concentrated on multi-faceted problems, which renders virtual environments questionable. These environments are no matching substitutes for physical environments for their shortcomings in providing essential features mentioned above. In response, an investigation was made as to how to recreate architectural education in the current situation, improving educational processes.
To do so Grounded Theory method was used in the context of architectural design studios in Shahid Beheshti University held in 2020, all held in a virtual environment because of the pandemic. Structured observation, semi-structured interviews, and group discussions were used to collect data. Open, axial, and selective coding were used to analyse the data. In the end, member checking was used to validate final results and conclusions. Findings show that 11 factors in two broad groups can influence the performance of an architectural design studio, namely, Context and Possibilities, and Educational Processes. Context and Possibilities include attitudes towards the virtual studio, studio-holding methods, software, hardware, and information resources. Educational Processes include educational structure, programme content of the studio, time management, educational methods, presentation methods, and the interaction between students and the tutor. To conclude, recommendations were made to manage these factors based on the experience of the participating tutors.


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