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An Evaluation of an Engineering Design Class using Mixed Methods Techniques

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Design Assessment

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29782

Download Count

28

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Paper Authors

biography

Martina Margaret Moyne University College Dublin Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2798-7883

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Martina Moyne is a PhD candidate in the School of Mechanical and Material Engineering, University College Dublin (UCD) and a Lecturer in Product Design in the Institute of Technology Carlow. She received her BDes in Industrial Design and MSc in Medical Device Design in the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and ME in Management in UCD. She is also a part time lecturer in UCD and prior to pursuing her PhD, she worked for six years in Nypro Healthcare as a Senior Product Engineer. Her research interests are in design engineering pedagogy, medical device design and human factors engineering.

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Maxwell Herman Harvard University

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Maxwell Herman is a researcher working in the John A. Paulson school of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. He received his BS and MS from Carnegie Mellon University in 2013. He is currently working as an software engineer designing and building online education tools for use in the classroom.

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biography

Conor Walsh P.E. Harvard University

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Conor is Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Core Faculty Member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard. He is the founder of the Harvard Biodesign Lab, which brings together researchers from the engineering, industrial design, medical and business communities to develop smart medical devices and translate them to industrial partners in collaboration with the Wyss Institute's Advanced Technology Team. Conor's research projects focus on wearable robotics to assist the disabled and able-bodied, as well as on tools for minimally invasive diagnosis and treatment of disease. His educational interest is in the area of medical device innovation where he mentors student design teams on projects with clinicians in Boston and in emerging regions such as India. Conor received his B.A.I and B.A. degrees in Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, in 2003 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 and 2010. Conor is Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is also the founder of the Harvard Biodesign Lab, which brings together researchers from the engineering, industrial design, medical and business communities to develop smart medical devices and translate them to industrial partners in collaboration with the Wyss Institute's Advanced Technology Team. Conor received his B.A.I and B.A. degrees in Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, in 2003 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 and 2010. He has been the recipient of over a dozen invention, entrepreneurship, and student mentoring awards including the MIT $100K business plan competition, Whitaker Health Sciences Fund Fellowship, and the MIT Graduate Student Mentor of the Year.

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Donal Padraic Holland University College Dublin

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Dónal Holland is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical and Materials Engineering at University College Dublin (Ireland) and an Associate at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. His research interests include soft and wearable robotics, mechanical design, and engineering education.

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Abstract

Project-based design classes are increasingly common in undergraduate engineering programs. However, educators face challenges in developing and implementing structured programs that allow for the inherently open-ended nature of design processes while ensuring that students achieve the intended learning objectives. In part, these challenges are due to difficulties in monitoring student activities in classes where each student may pursue a different design problem and solution, and where the majority of class activity takes place outside of scheduled contact hours. To date, it has been almost impossible for educators to directly compare the actual design processes followed by students working on different teams, to each other and to intended learning objectives.

This paper presents a method for evaluating the efficacy of project-based design classes. It describes a case study using data from a project-based engineering design class in a graduate engineering program. The research consisted of an interview with the lead instructors of the classes (n=1), observation of the class weekly progress, and design process data of four student teams (n=12) gathered using a web-based tool, the Design Evaluation and Feedback Tool (DEFT). The data was used to evaluate the experiential learning course by analyzing the time and activities student underwent. The paper concludes by outlining modifications that will be made to the class based on this analysis. It is hoped that other design educators and researchers could benefit by using the proposed framework for the evaluation of projectbased design classes. Future work involves using this analysis framework to compare and analyze design classes from two different universities in different countries, to understand the impact of the educational environment on student learning and design activities.

Moyne, M. M., & Herman, M., & Walsh, C., & Holland, D. P. (2018, June), An Evaluation of an Engineering Design Class using Mixed Methods Techniques Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29782

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