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Asset-based Approaches to Engineering Design Education: A Scoping Review of Theory and Practice

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Design Methodologies 2

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


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Hannah D. Budinoff The University of Arizona Orcid 16x16

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Hannah Budinoff is an Assistant Professor of Systems and Industrial Engineering at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include additive manufacturing, geometric manufacturability analysis, design for manufacturing, and engineering education. She completed her PhD in 2019 in mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

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Vignesh Subbian The University of Arizona Orcid 16x16

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Vignesh Subbian is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Systems and Industrial Engineering, member of the BIO5 Institute, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Center for University Education Scholarship at the University of Arizona. His professional areas of interest include medical informatics, healthcare systems engineering, and broadening participation in engineering and computing. Subbian’s educational research is focused on asset-based practices, ethics education, and formation of identities in engineering.

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Asset-based practices in engineering education are intentional ways of acknowledging and leveraging strengths of students, including their everyday experiences, knowledge, and cultural practices to serve as resources for teaching and learning. Such assets or strengths, broadly, may include but not limited to mediational and navigational skills, community networks, language and communication skills, tinkering skills and knowledge, and most importantly, their lived experiences. While asset-based practices can generally foster development of engineering identities in students, there is limited work that summarizes and connects conceptual frameworks to practical pedagogical methods in engineering design courses. With a focus on Hispanic and Latinx communities, this study performs a scoping literature review to answer the following questions: • What types of assets do students bring into engineering programs? • What are implications of asset-based approaches to engineering, engineering design process, and design pedagogy? • What are some pedagogical strategies for implementing asset-based practices in engineering and engineering design courses?

The review was informed by Arksey and O’Malley’s five-stage methodology for conducting scoping reviews. The search was performed on several literature databases including ERIC, Engineering Village, Scopus, and the proceedings of ASEE conferences. Findings from this study demonstrate the extent and nature of asset-based practices both in theory and practice, and helped identify a variety of practical asset-based pedagogical strategies from community-inspired design projects and asset-mapping to translanguaging and cross-institutional faculty professional development initiatives. We believe that these findings will potentially motivate the engineering education community to actively implement asset-based approaches in design instruction, and further develop and test more nuanced strategies that draw upon students’ funds of knowledge and cultural wealth.

Budinoff, H. D., & Subbian, V. (2021, July), Asset-based Approaches to Engineering Design Education: A Scoping Review of Theory and Practice Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36727

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