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Beyond Likert Scales: Exploring Designers' Perceptions through Visual Reflection Activities

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Design in Engineering Education Division: Design Methodology

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

26

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32150

Download Count

6

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Paper Authors

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Kathryn W. Jablokow Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Kathryn Jablokow is a Professor of Engineering Design and Mechanical Engineering at Penn State University. A graduate of Ohio State University (Ph.D., Electrical Engineering), Dr. Jablokow's current teaching and research interests include design cognition, high performance teams, creativity in science/engineering, and mobile robotics. In addition to her membership in ASEE, she is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Fellow of ASME.

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Aditya Vora Pennsylvania State University

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Aditya Vora is a Junior at The Pennsylvania State University majoring in Industrial Engineering and graduating in May 2020. He has been a part of the High-Performance Design Team Research for a year, with technical interests including Data Visualization, Artificial Intelligence, Team Cognition, and Entrepreneurship. He is the design lead of a team that was awarded phase one winner at the Nittany AI challenge at Penn State. With a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Aditya is also the Co-founder of a Startup at Penn State. His interest in Engineering Education stems from prior work as a Learning Assistant in Physics courses. Outside of school, he enjoys traveling, producing music and playing the guitar.

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Daniel Allen Henderson Pennsylvania State University

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While a student at Penn State, Daniel Henderson earned both his M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction (Secondary Science Education) and his B.S. in Engineering Science (with Honors). Currently, he works as a research assistant and will later pursue a full-time high school physics teaching position.

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Jennifer Bracken Pennsylvania State University

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Jennifer is a mechanical engineering graduate student at Penn State. She is interested in design, prototyping, teams, and advanced manufacturing. Currently she is studying design teams for her PhD work. Her MS work involved designing and prototyping a robotic inspection system for nuclear waste storage cylinders, where she directed the efforts of up to 5 undergraduates. She has worked for two large corporations, one start-up, and two universities.

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Neeraj Sonalkar Stanford University

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Neeraj Sonalkar is the Executive Director of Human Innovation Design Research at the Center for Design Research at Stanford University. He studies interpersonal interactions to understand the behavioral building blocks of teams, organizations and regional innovation ecosystems. Neeraj invented the Interaction Dynamics Notation to visualize collaborative interactions, and is currently working with corporate and entrepreneurial teams to apply diagnostics based on the notation and improve team innovation performance.

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Stephen Harris Community College of the Air Force

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Stephen Harris is an adjunct faculty member at the Pennsylvania State University’s Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies. He served in the USAF as an Electronic Warfare Officer and completed both a military and a civil service career with a total of 42 years of Federal service. In his final civil service position he served as the Dean of the Community college of the Air Force. His research and teaching interests include problem solving science and leadership with a focus on the impact of cognitive style based upon Adaption Innovation theory. Dr. Harris received his Ed.D. in Career Technology from Auburn University.

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Abstract

Abstract:

When it comes to the assessment of design behaviors and outcomes, direct observations by external viewers and subjective reflections by the participants themselves can all yield important information. External viewers, for example, may code video evidence or apply design metrics to a designer's solutions, both of which can lead to interesting statistical analyses and detailed insights. In collecting and analyzing designers' personal reflections and perceptions, researchers often utilize Likert-type scales, multiple choice questions, or short open-ended prompts. While these modes of data collection are useful and valid, they also constrain participants' responses to fixed options in the case of Likert-type scales and multiple-choice questions, and to verbal expressions in the case of open-ended prompts. Few examples of other types of reflection activities (e.g., graphing, sketching) have been presented or studied in the engineering education literature.

In this project, which is part of a larger investigation into high performance design teams, we explored the use of graphing and other visual techniques for recording designers' perceptions of their design processes and products. Our primary aim was to introduce greater richness into the evaluation of designers' behaviors and outcomes as we posed research questions about their relationship to cognitive variables. In this paper, we will discuss two of these reflection activities—an emotional state plot and a graphical assessment of a design solution's feasibility, usefulness, and novelty—in the context of a team design challenge. While the designers under study worked as teams, each individual designer provided her/his perceptions of the team process and design solutions using these reflection activities. Our analysis of individual perceptions from seven design teams of 4-5 designers each will be reported here. This investigation also includes the cognitive style of each participant (as measured by Kirton's Adaption-Innovation inventory—KAI) as a potential mediating variable on the individual perceptions of emotions and outcomes. This paper will provide details of the two reflection activities, our associated methods of analysis, key findings related to the designers' perceptions and cognitive styles, benefits and limitations of these two reflection activities, and implications for design educators.

Jablokow, K. W., & Vora, A., & Henderson, D. A., & Bracken, J., & Sonalkar, N., & Harris, S. (2019, June), Beyond Likert Scales: Exploring Designers' Perceptions through Visual Reflection Activities Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32150

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