Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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LOH LEON Last modified date:2021.05.19

Graduate School
Undergraduate School

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Academic Degree
PhD. Design, Master. Design, Postgraduate Diploma in Education, Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical and Production Engineering)
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Yes Bachelor
Field of Specialization
Design Education
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
Focusing on the product design education at tertiary and pre-tertiary level in the context of Asia, the current research activities aimed to approach the study on product design education curriculum with the following objectives:
a) To establish and clarify the necessary knowledge and skills to be developed at undergraduate level relevant to respond the growing regional and global issues.
b) To clarify the role of industry in the design education ecosystem in the development of necessary knowledge and skills in prospective design professionals.
c) To clarify the characteristics of pre-tertiary design education in Asia and conduct extensive research and development of educational programmes, curriculums, teaching and learning strategies and teaching and learning aids that will strengthen design learning at per-tertiary level.
d) Development of design educational teaching and learning activities for design thinking skills acquisition.

Besides, the study on the development of design education in the developing countries in the context of Asia has been limited. The current research activities will also hope to extend into studying the development of design education in the context of Asia.
Research Interests
  • •Development of problem solving and thinking skills through design related activities
    keyword : Design thinking, Reasoning and Reflective Thinking Skills, Development of critical thinking skills through questioning techniques
  • •Idea conceptualisation techniques
    keyword : Reduction of ideas fixation, Parallel prototyping techniques
  • •Developments of Product design education curriculum
    keyword : Curriculum planning and development frameworks
  • •Bilingual education
    keyword : Bilingual education models
Current and Past Project
  • Effective framework to develop critical and creative thinking in children through design education: This research aims to formulate a framework to develop critical thinking and creativity through secondary/junior high school design education. (Received the Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientist: Effective framework to develop critical and creative thinking in children to drive future innovation in Japan)
  • Re-clarifying Design Problems through Questions for Secondary School Children: One of the challenges for students towards proposing an effective solution is to clearly understand the design problem before moving into ideation and development of the solutions. The current study aimed to explore the use of questioning techniques to enable pre-tertiary students in improving their understanding of the design problems by using questions to critique their thinking and decision making processes and in turn, generate more effective design solution.
Academic Activities
1. Chih‐Jung Ku, Wei‐Leong Leon Loh, Kuen‐Yi Lin, P. John Williams, Development of an instrument for exploring preservice technology teachers’ maker‐based technological pedagogical content knowledge, British Journal of Educational Technology,, 2020.10, With the development of the maker movement, more and more teachers are applying a broad range of technological tools in their pedagogy, instead of only information technology. This study details the development and validation of the Teachers Maker‐based TPACK Survey Instrument (TMTSI), a revised model designed to measure technology teachers’ maker‐based technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) in utilizing maker‐based tools to support their teaching. We recruited 165 preservice secondary technology teachers in Taiwan for this study and confirmatory factor analysis was applied to validate the instrument. Our findings suggest that TMTSI provided a valid and highly reliable research‐based instrument that also serves as a professional development model to help scaffold the development of K‐12 technology teachers. This paper details the theoretical foundations of TMTSI, reports on its reliability and validity, and discusses the application and implications of TMTSI for teacher education and professional development..
2. LOH, W. L., SHIMOMURA, M, ZHANG, Y.F., Unlocking Creative Minds to Engage SDGs Through Design Education in Japanese High School, Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2020), VIA Design, VIA University in Herning, Denmark. 10th -11th September 2020,, 2020.09, This study aimed to clarify the use of a pilot design programme as a form of general education in the Japanese high school education to enhance awareness of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and develop 21st-century competencies (21CC) and social-emotional learning (SEL). The challenge for this study is to integrate design education in a high education system that has no structure for design learning. Based on a questionnaire survey, the pilot design programme allowed 17 high school participants with no design experience to solve authentic problems through design. Besides, design activities promote the development of 21CC and SEL. As a form of education for sustainable development (ESD), the current study has the potential to enhance awareness of SDGs and sustainable issues..
3. LOH Wei Leong, Sharpening Critical Thinking in Problem Identification in Design and Technology Education, Design Research Society, doi: 10.21606/drs.2020.358, Volume 2, 899-925, 2020.08, The current study aimed to identify and clarify students’ critical thinking processes when understanding the design problem towards formulating design specifications within the problem identification stage when engaging in a design project at upper secondary level. Using design journals done by students in a Singapore secondary school, the study broke down students’ critical thinking processes based on various elements of reasoning to assess the quality of reasoning. From this study, a set of general guidelines can be proposed for students to achieve good reasoning standards in order to understand the problem and to determine appropriate design specifications. To achieve good reasoning standards when breaking down the design problem, research in three basic related areas such as environment, users and products are necessary to form important background knowledge..
4. Wei Leong Leon LOH, Critical Thinking in Problem Exploration in Design and Technology Design Project , Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, 25, 1, 35-58, 2020.02, [URL], The current study aimed to identify and clarify students’ critical thinking processes in problem exploration. The current study will adopt the definitions of critical thinking conceptualized by Paul and Elder and, at the same time, attempt to apply the concept of elements of reasoning and intellectual standards to achieve the objectives of this study. By using questions to deconstruct the elements of reasoning when exploring problems, the intellectual standards for reasoning in problem exploration can be articulated. Using a qualitative approach to conduct a collective case study, 15 design journals completed by students in the upper secondary Express course in Singa Secondary School are used as objects of study. The primary source of data is collected via the documentations in the design journals. Using intellectual standards for reasoning in problem exploration to interpret the documentations in the design journals, students’ quality of reasoning can be observed and consolidated. Based on the findings, the following conclusion can be presented. Firstly, to achieve depth, accuracy and unbiased understanding of the problem, students need to research on information and data from different sources to triangulate the problem. Secondly, it is necessary for students to acquire necessary background knowledge in order to conceptualize problems accurate and clearly. Thirdly, the development of intellectual standards for reasoning relevant to the design process in D&T may be a potentially useful strategy for teachers to explicitly develop critical thinking skills in D&T..
5. LOH W.L.L., KWEK H.M.G., LEE W.L., Re-clarifying design problems through questions for secondary school children: An Example Based on Design Problem Identification in Singapore Pre-Tertiary Design Education. Proceedings of IASDR 2017 Re:Research, 31 Oct – 3 Nov 2017. doi:10.7945/C2K67C, International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR), doi:10.7945/C2K67C, 2017.11, [URL], It is believed that secondary school students often define design problems in the design coursework superficially due to various reasons such as lack of exposure, inexperience and the lack of research skills. Questioning techniques have long been associated with the development of critical thinking. Based on this context and assumption, the current study aimed to explore the use of questioning techniques to enable pre-tertiary students to improve their understanding of design problems by using questions to critique their thinking and decision-making processes and in turn, generate more effective design solutions. A qualitative approach is adopted in this study to identify the trajectories of students during design problem identification and clarification process. Using student design journals as a form of record for action and thoughts, they are analysed and supplemented by hearing survey with the teacher-in-charge. From the study, the following points can be concluded: 1) questions can be a useful tool to facilitate a better understanding of the design problem. 2) The process of identification and clarification of design problem is important in the development of critical thinking skills and social-emotional skills of the students. 3) It is important that students are given time and opportunity to find out the problems by themselves. 4) Teachers can be important role models as students may pick up questioning techniques from teacher-student discussions. 5) Departmental reviews and built-in professional development time for weekly reviews on teaching and learning strategies are necessary for the continual improvement D&T education..
6. LOH W.L.L., KWEK H.M.G, LEE W.L., Design Thinking in Pre-Tertiary Design Education: An Example Based on Design and Technology Study in Singapore Secondary School. Proceedings of IASDR 2015 Interplay, 1322-1349, 2 November – 5 November 2015., International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR), 2015.11.
7. LOH W.L., ISHIMURA S., The Diverse and Integrative Nature of Product Design Curriculum (II), Bulletin of Japan Society for the Science of Design (JSSD), Vol. 60, No.2, 47-56, 2013, Bulletin of Japan Society for the Science of Design (JSSD), 2013.09.
8. LOH W.L., ISHIMURA S., The Diverse and Integrative Nature of Product Design Curriculum (I), Bulletin of Japan Society for the Science of Design (JSSD), Vol. 59, No.5, 1-10, 2013., Bulletin of Japan Society for the Science of Design (JSSD), 2013.03.
9. LOH W.L., ISHIMURA S., Characteristics and Transitions of Product Design Curriculum in Japan Between the 1970s and 2000s, International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) 2011 DELFT, Diversity and Unity, 4th World Conference on Design Research, Paper 474, 1-10, 31 October – 4 November 2011., International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR), 2011.10.
1. Leon LOH, Sharpening Critical Thinking in Design Problem Selection in Design Project: A Perspective Based on Singapore Design and Technology, International Conference on Technology Education in the Asia-Pacific Region 2021 (ICTE2021), 2021.01, [URL].
2. Leon LOH, The Design and Technology Teacher Education in Singapore: a journey based on a personal narrative , Annual Conference of Industrial Technology Education Association of Taiwan, 2020.12.
3. LOH, W.L., Developing observation skills in problem identification for lower secondary design and technology, Japan Society of Technology Education, 2020.09.
4. LOH Wei Leong, Leon, The Type of Design in Design and Technology Education for the Development of Critical Thinking Skills: A Perspective Based on the Asian and Oceania D&T and TE Education, International Conference on Technology Education in the Asia Pacific Region, 2019.01.
5. LOH W.L., ISHIMURA S., Theoretic and Pragmatic Nature of Product Design Curriculum: Using Product Design Curriculum in Japanese and Oversea Universities as an Example, Proceedings of the 59th Annual Conference of JSSD, June 2012, 2012.06.
6. LOH W.L., ISHIMURA S., Diversity and Synthesis in Product Design Curriculum: Using Product Design Curriculum in Japanese National and Public Universities as an Example, Proceedings of the 58th Annual Conference of JSSD, June 2011, 2011.06.
Membership in Academic Society
  • The Japan Society of Technology Education (JSTE)
  • Japan Society for the Science of Design (JSSD)
  • Design Research Society
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Educational Activities
Curriculum Design and Management of Design Education
Intellectual Property Rights : Global Perspective
Design Pitching Skills
Critical Thinking
Global Design Innovations
Start-ups and Global Disruptors
Expert English
Academic English
Other Educational Activities
  • 2019.09.
Professional and Outreach Activities
June 2018
As part of the Fukuoka Minami Ward Children University 2018, the current design workshop shared with young children on the possibility of recycling PET bottles to make them into art sculptures or useful products that can enhance the beauty of our living space and as a small effort to make our environment more sustainable.

This workshop was conducted in English to create opportunities for English conversation and learning. The workshop also encouraged speaking and learning of English and to create a multi-lingual learning campus in Ohashi Campus. The instructors are trained teachers for Singapore secondary schools, with a combined experience of more than 20 years teaching Design and Technology.

The PET.ART design workshop is also part of the community outreach for SDGs Design School. The SDGs Design School is one of the activities of the SDGs Design Unit of Kyushu University Faculty of Design. The SDGs Design School is positioned as an educational outreach to inform a wide scope of citizens, from children to adults, what can we do for SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in the area of design.

Feb, 2016
Focusing on propogating the awareness and possibilities of harnessing sustainable energy and using sustainable materials that can be recycled, a 3 x 1/2 day Sustainable Lamp Design Workshop was conducted between 19-26 Feb in Bukit Merah Secondary School (Singapore). In this workshop, students were first introduced to the issues related to design, environment and sustainability. Then after, they were provided with opportunities to experience and immerse in the designing of sustainable light prototypes using design thinking approach through hands-on activities.

April, 2015
School assembly talk in Dunman Secondary School (Singapore) to promote understanding of design.
Outline: This talk was conducted to provide a brief overview of design and how we are using design to attend to our everyday needs..