June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
NSF Grantees Poster Session
24.214.1 - 24.214.18
Assessment of Product Archaeology as a Framework for Contextualizing Engineering DesignProduct archaeology is used as an educational framework for promoting students’ considerationof the broader impacts of engineering on people, economics, and the environment. Engineeringeducators require instructional methods which can develop students’ understanding of “theimpact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context”needed to meet ABET’s Criteria 3, Outcome h. Furthermore, educators need tools which canreliably assess students’ understanding of the broader contexts of engineering design. Theproduct archaeology framework integrates concepts and techniques from traditional archaeologywith product dissection. Students are instructed to carefully examine man-made products tounderstand how design decisions are informed by and bring about broader impacts on people,economics, and the environment.Product archaeology activities offer students an opportunity to reconstruct the lifecycle of aproduct, including the customer requirements, design specifications, and manufacturingprocesses used to produce it. This process is in an effort to understand the decisions that led to aproduct’s development. This paper describes: 1) the identification and development ofassessment tools for evaluating the impact of product archaeology; 2) the implementation of theproduct archaeology framework during two academic semesters in engineering departments atsix universities; and 3) assessment results with evidence of the effectiveness of the productarchaeology framework. This project uses existing survey instruments, including the Engineer of2020 survey and the engineering design self-efficacy instrument to assess positive studentattitudes and perceptions about engineering. Our assessment plan also uses two newly-developeddesign scenarios. These scenarios require students to respond to open-ended descriptions of real-world engineering problems to assess students’ ability to extend and refine knowledge of broadercontexts. Emerging pre-test/post-test data reveals that the product archaeology activities lead tomore positive student ratings of their own knowledge of broader contexts and self-efficacy aboutengineering design. Analysis of the design scenarios (used to assess students’ ability to applycontextual knowledge to engineering design situations) is underway and will include results fromthe Spring and Fall 2013 semesters.
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