June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.34.1 - 11.34.15
A Conceptual Model for Capstone Engineering Design Performance and Assessment
Assessment in capstone engineering design courses is vital to engineering education programs. The capstone design course is the climax of design education and often the context for much of the assessment done in engineering degree programs. Capstone design course instructors’ admittedly low confidence for assessing student performance in these courses poses a crucial obstacle to the assessment process. A key issue is a lack of clear outcomes definition for engineering design and sound, defensible assessments for these outcomes. This paper draws from findings in design literature and from engineering design education experience to construct a conceptual model of engineering design that guides development of associated design learning outcomes and assessment of student achievements in design.
A conceptual model of design is vital to design education, because it is one of three essential cornerstones— model, observation, and interpretation— for constructing assessments1. In the context of an engineering classroom, design performance produces two different and complementary types of outcomes: learner development and solution development. Further, design is: open-ended, iterative, creative, collaborative, goal-driven, process-intensive, product- focused, customer-oriented, value-added, and constrained by society. Learner and solution development usually progresses from a state of students’ fragmented understanding and ideas to a more mature state of integrated understanding and design solutions.
The proposed conceptual model for engineering design identifies four areas of performance that describe design: (1) personal capacity, (2) team processes, (3) solution requirements, and (4) solution assets. The first two characterize learner development and the latter two characterize solution development. Personal capacity is the designer’s development of skills which support technically sound and responsible design. Team processes address a team’s behaviors and productivity in design activities. Solution requirements address the team’s understanding of stakeholder needs and concerns. Solution assets encompass the value added, practicality, and impact of the design solution. These four performance areas are essential to design. They identify performances that develop over time, contribute to the success of design outcomes, and stimulate growth in one another for integrated enhancement of design performance. They also provide the basis for a versatile, comprehensive definition of engineering design performance that can guide instruction and can focus assessments in capstone engineering design courses.
Davis, D., & Beyerlein, S., & Harrison, O., & Thompson, P., & Trevisan, M., & Mount, B. (2006, June), A Conceptual Model For Capstone Engineering Design Performance And Assessment Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--724
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