New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Design in Engineering Education
In 2010 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) entered into a collaboration agreement with the government of Singapore to found the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). The MIT-SUTD Collaboration broadly consists of curriculum development, faculty training, collaborative research, and the development of student culture. One activity focused on the development of student culture is the Global Leadership Program (GLP), a ten-week academic cultural exchange that takes place on and around MIT’s campus. GLP brings approximately 30 students from SUTD to MIT to experience MIT’s academic environment. As part of this program, the SUTD students, alongside 5 MIT students, engage in experiences that assist with the development of leadership and engineering skills.
In 2014 a component was introduced to GLP that combined the pedagogical approaches of design-based learning and wilderness education to create a novel learning environment for engineering and architecture students. This curriculum was developed to address the development of design thinking, engineering science, and leadership skills. The design-based wilderness education curriculum consists of classroom and lab activities implemented on the MIT campus, followed by a wilderness expedition. Initial investigation indicated that the design-based wilderness education curriculum resulted in self-reported increases in student leadership capacity and potentially beneficial changes to students design-thinking.
This research paper examines pre- and post- assessments given to participants immediately before and after participating in the design-based wilderness education component of the 2015 GLP. The assessment consisted of an inventory of 23 activities commonly associated with the engineering design process; students were asked to identify the six most important and the six least important design activities. This paper explores the differences identified between the pre- and post assessment results and these differences are associated with pedagogical decisions made in the creation of the program. The potential implications of design-based wilderness education as a pedagogy for design education are further explored.
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