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Competency Based Engineering Design Projects

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.108.1 - 1.108.17



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Paper Authors

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Richard W. Crain

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Michael S. Trevisan

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Kenneth L. Gentili

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Dale E. Calkins

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D. C. Davis

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1608

Competency-Based Engineering Design Projects

a a b c a D. C. Davis , R. W. Crain Jr. , D. E. Calkins , K. L. Gentili , M. S. Trevisan a b c Washington State University , University of Washington , Tacoma Community College

ABSTRACT An outcomes-based approach to education is becoming essential for engineering educators. Design competencies help one define educational outcomes, develop plans for achieving integrated design experience, and document educational program success. The authors present a set of eight categories of design competencies to be used as a basis for structuring effective engineering design projects. During project development, the eight categories of competence are checked against anticipated steps in the project to assess the structure of the project and to direct modifications that will more fully achieve desired design education outcomes. An example is included to assist faculty in adoption of a competency-based approach to project development. This approach provides a basis for outcomes-based design education, even when students transfer from one program or institution to another.

KEYWORDS Engineering design education, learning outcomes, curriculum design, collaborative learning

INTRODUCTION Changes in Engineering Education In recent years, concerns about engineering education in the United States have risen from a number of different sectors. Industry calls for restructuring engineering education to prepare graduates for a more competitive environment, and companies are willing to participate in this restructuring (Black, 1994). Katz (1993) indicates that engineers entering the workforce need skills in communication and teamwork, frequently lacking in their preparation. Input from a variety of sources, including industry and educators, indicates that selected design-related skills (e.g., problem definition, communication, teamwork) are more important for graduating engineers than some technical skills (Evans et al., 1993).

Many engineering educators are responding to calls for improved social awareness and communication skills through writing-across-the curriculum and design initiatives (Ludlow and Schulz, 1994; Gorman et al., 1995; Fentiman and Demel, 1995; Vest et al., 1995). Davis et al.

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Crain, R. W., & Trevisan, M. S., & Gentili, K. L., & Calkins, D. E., & Davis, D. C. (1996, June), Competency Based Engineering Design Projects Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5922

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