June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Design in Engineering Education
26.202.1 - 26.202.14
An Iterative Approach to Implementing Sponsored Design and Build ProjectsProducing usable prototypes in a single iteration in a semester-long course is extremelychallenging. A research project was undertaken to determine if iterating designs in subsequentcourses would improve the results and usability of sponsored design and build projects in lowerdivision courses.Assistive technology devices (devices to help people with disabilities) were used in threeseparate classes to teach students design strategies and reinforce course content. Five separatedesign challenges were undertaken and iterated at least one time. Each device was designed andbuilt in a single course with iterations performed in following courses.When iterating a design, documentation of previous iterations is essential to avoid repeatingmistakes and pursuing already rejected concepts. When the iteration occurs with differentengineering students in different classes, it is crucial that this documentation be gathered,collected, and transmitted to the next team in an effective manner. A web-based tool wasdeveloped to allow easy transfer of design documentation from one course to the next.In some iterations, the web tool was used and in others it was not. The incremental improvementbetween iterations was enhanced by the use of the web tool. Additionally, students had less of atendency to “reinvent the wheel” when the previous group’s documentation was available as wellas their prototype. This saved time and allowed substantial progress to be made in successiveiterations.End users and/or their caregivers were asked to rate each iteration via a survey to determine usersatisfaction with different aspects of the prototype. User satisfaction with successive iterationswas compared. In all cases, user qualitative feedback on both the design, prior to build, and afteruse of the prototype was also collected. It was found that successive iterations improvedcustomer satisfaction.
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