New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Design in Engineering Education
Modern engineering practitioners are generally involved with product development of tools, devices and systems with increasing complexities. They are tasks to multi-faceted roles to employ holistic design process including market analysis, research and development, design execution, prototype fabrication, quality control, testing and certification of the related products. However, traditional in-class teaching cannot adequately prepare graduates with critical attributes for them to function effectively in work place. Therefore, there is an increased emphasis in providing design experience through an integrated project-based learning throughout the engineering curriculum. In this paper, we will present our recent efforts to develop a coordinated three-semester course sequence to provide an integrated capstone experience to introduce creative design process through project planning, management, and product development. In the first class, Engineering Design Methods (EDM), Junior-level students are taught various collaborative learning strategies as well as a formal design process including all necessary design tools. They are also required to engage with capstone design teams which have been working on their senior capstone design project in the Senior Design Project (SDP) course sequence during the same semester. The EDM students acquire skills in preparation for their capstone experience while rehearsing these design skills by shadowing SDP teams in a virtual design mode. In the subsequent two-semester SDP course sequence, senior –level students are groups in teams working on externally-sponsored projects while applying skill set learning from the EDM and other core engineering courses. Most of the SDPs are real-world inspired projects which are externally sponsored by industry and government agencies and many of them are multidisciplinary in nature involving engineering and sometimes non-engineering students. In addition to carry out these design tasks, they are also required to interact with students in the EDM class and feedback their experience to their junior-level peers while enhancing their skills in communication and design implementation through reflective learning. Pre- and post-class surveys and feedback sessions are conducted to not only gain feedbacks from students to improve the coordinated learning process but also to engage them in self-reflection learning to continuous learning. We will also report our recent efforts in coordinating multidisciplinary, cross-institutional and international design projects since they serve to expand our students’ communication and collaborative skills from both technical and non-technical perspectives. Finally, this paper will report experience learned from our initial implementation, assessment of student learning and their perception of the process, with recommendations to further improve the coordinated learning model.
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