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A Design Methodology For Hands On Classroom Experiences

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Potpurri Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.34.1 - 9.34.17



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Paper Authors

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Daniel Jensen

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A Design Methodology for Hands-on Classroom Experiences

Dan Jensen and John Wood Kris Wood Department of Engineering Mechanics Department of Mechanical Engineering US Air Force Academy University of Texas at Austin

Abstract The advantages of using hands-on activities to improve design classes are well known. However, a structured design methodology for development of these activities is not available in the literature. This paper presents such a design methodology, borrowing heavily from a product design approach. Innovative features of this methodology include the use of educational objectives as design “functions” and the use of pedagogical theories and learning style information as part of the “analysis” step in the design process. Details of each step in the process are presented. The methodology is used to compare the use of original and redesign projects. This comparison highlights some distinct advantages of redesign oriented hands-on projects.

1. Introduction There is considerable literature that addresses the advantages of using hands-on experiences in engineering curriculum [1-14]. Although assessment indicates that the incorporation of hands-on experiences almost always improves a given course, there appears to be a dearth of information regarding the effective design of hands-on content. This paper presents a structured design methodology, using standard design tools like customer needs analysis, Quality Function Deployment and quantitative decision making [13,15], for designing improved hands-on experiences. One notable innovation in this design methodology is the use of pedagogical theories and learning style information in what would normally be the “analysis” phase of the design process. In particular, this “analysis” phase of design incorporates the learning style information as identified through the use of students’ Myers Briggs Type Indicator [16-19] and integrates pedagogical theories such as the Kolb cycle [20], Bloom’s taxonomy [21], inductive vs. deductive learning [22,23] and scaffolding theory [24,25]. This design methodology is then implemented in the context of an example that compares the use of original design and redesign projects in a senior capstone design course.

2. Reference Design Methodology We have chosen a product design methodology as a basis or starting point for formulating our methodology for designing hands-on activities. There are two reasons why we believe this is a good choice. First, development of both products and hands-on activities can be considered an “ill defined problem” in the sense that there is not an optimal unique solution. As the product design methodology shown below is based on a generic stencil for solving ill-defined problems, it qualifies as a reasonable starting point for formulating a new design methodology for hands-on activity development. Second, from a practical

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Jensen, D. (2004, June), A Design Methodology For Hands On Classroom Experiences Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12990

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015