June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Design in Engineering Education
12.406.1 - 12.406.17
Converging-Diverging Design Strategies in a Sophomore Level Design Sequence: Review of an Electromechanical Project
At our university Sophomore Clinics I and II are part of an eight-semester design sequence in which students progress from basic data collection and reverse engineering projects through more open-ended, industry-sponsored capstone design experiences. The team of multidisciplinary faculty from Engineering and Communications who teach the sophomore level courses have observed the difficulty students have tackling the fundamental open-ended nature of true design problems and have subsequently revised the sequence. For the Fall of 2005 the Sophomore Clinic sequence was revised to introduce Dym et al.’s converging-diverging framework for design by incorporating a series of three projects of increasing complexity with accompany activities designed to reinforce the converging-diverging concepts. For the third project in the series, roughly sixty students participated in an open-ended electromechanical design project that included lectures and activities to reinforce the design framework, assessment of the retention/comprehension of the framework’s concepts, and a final design competition. While assessment data was unable to show a correlation between comprehension of the design framework and improvements in students’ designs, results do show that students had adequate retention/comprehension of the converging-diverging philosophy and that students’ designs performed better in the competition following the revised course as compared to the previous year.
All students in the engineering curriculum at our university are required to take an eight-semester design sequence called the Engineering Clinics that moves from closed to more open-ended problems. The sophomore year of the Engineering Clinic series is a team taught course devoted to design and communication. The students spend 160 minutes in a single engineering lab section and 150 minutes in three communication sections per week. The course is taught by faculty from multiple departments within the College of Engineering and the College of Fall 2005 Spring 2006 60 Students 120 Students 60 Students
4 wks Rockets Green- 14 Electro- Public house Writing weeks mech. Speaking Hoistinator 10 wks Gas
Figure 1: Restructured sophomore design sequence beginning in fall 2005. The fall semester was divided into one four-week project and one ten-week project. Students could choose between semester-long electromechanical design projects or greenhouse gas projects in the spring. Students enrolled in communication courses concurrently during both semesters.
von Lockette, P., & Constans, E., & Courtney, J., & Dahm, K., & Riddell, W., & Harvey, R. (2007, June), Converging Diverging Design Strategies In A Sophomore Level Design Sequence: Review Of An Electromechanical Project Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2598
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