July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Design in Engineering Education
The stability of our nation’s infrastructure depends on the precise work of educated engineers. How can we teach young, aspiring engineers the importance of reviewing each other’s work before they enter this critical profession? This paper presents an evidence-based study of how applying a design review to a project-based academic setting benefits engineering students and prepares them for successful careers. Specific objectives of the study were to generate conclusions regarding a design review’s ability to (1) enhance learning opportunities for engineering students, (2) improve effectiveness of a team whose members are of different engineering sub-disciplines, (3) improve the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with a range of audiences, and (4) improve the ability to solve complex engineering problems. The scope of this study includes the generation, implementation, and analysis of a design review process in capstone design projects within an undergraduate civil engineering program during the 2020 academic year. The motivation for the study stems from evidence-based practices of applying a design review to other undergraduate civil engineering courses. Existing studies demonstrate that a design review process within typical engineering courses reduced homework errors, improved student grades, increased student learning, and developed student’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively. However, these existing studies do not address project-based learning environments. A capstone design course requires a team of student engineers to research, design, build, and test an engineering solution to address a real-world problem, often with an existing client. The formal capstone design review process presented in this study was formatted to allow the process to be exportable to projects of varying scope and team size. The design review consisted of project teammates pairing up and independently reviewing each other’s products. The review itself required partners to answer a set of questions about each other’s work to ensure each member of the team was fulfilling their team role and contributing clear, complete, and correct work. Partners also provided each other overall product feedback and recommendations, and designers were able to reflect on their partners feedback and improve their products. This design review was an iterative process that occurred throughout the design process of every team’s project. The effectiveness of the design review was determined through the performance and quality of assignments established by the project advisors as well as the final project and presentation. Through Likert Scale questions and open-ended feedback, we concluded that the breadth and depth of student learning was enhanced, as students were able to better understand all aspects of their project. Students also noticed increased teammate interaction, fostering both increased learning and improved team effectiveness. The formal act of preparing a product for a peer teammate to review added an additional incentive for the students to ensure their work was clear and understandable. Students also noted feeling more confident about the process of reviewing other’s work and having their work reviewed, which is a key factor in their future success in solving complex engineering problems. Finally, advisors noted improved quality of project submissions and higher overall project and presentation grades.
Ramos, L., & Yoshii, H. J., & Beyer, K., & Corliss, M. R., & McCoy, B. C., & Hill, A. T., & Arnett, K. P. (2021, July), Design Review: A Teaching Tool for Project-based Learning Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36921
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