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Design Review: A Teaching Tool for Project-based Learning

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Design Pedagogy

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

19

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36921

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36921

Download Count

109

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Paper Authors

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Leandra Ramos United States Military Academy

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Leandra Ramos is a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and will report to her first duty station at Fort Drum, NY. She holds a BS degree in civil engineering from USMA (2021).

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Heather J. Yoshii United States Military Academy

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Kyle Beyer United States Military Academy

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Morgan R. Corliss United States Military Academy

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Brad C. McCoy United States Military Academy

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Brad C. McCoy is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, and currently an Asst. Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering and the Deputy Director of the Center for Innovation and Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy (USMA). He holds a BS degree in civil engineering from USMA (2001), and MS and PhD degrees in civil engineering from North Carolina State University (2011 and 2019). Brad is a licensed Professional Engineer (Missouri). His research interests include sustainable infrastructure development, sustainable construction materials, and engineering education.

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Aaron T. Hill Jr. United States Military Academy

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Colonel Aaron Hill is an Assistant Professor and Design Group Director in the Department of Civil & Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from West Point, a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from Missouri S&T, a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, and a PhD in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Aaron has served in the military for 23 years as an Engineer Officer with assignments around the world to include Afghanistan, Egypt, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He is a licensed professional engineer in Virginia and a Project Management Professional. Aaron’s primary areas of research are engineering education, the behavior of steel structures, and blast. Aaron mentors students by serving as an advisor for capstone projects and through service as an Officer Representative for Women’s Volleyball and Men’s Basketball. His passion for teaching and developing tomorrow’s leaders resulted in his selection in 2009 for the American Society of Civil Engineers New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award and the 2013 Outstanding Young Alumni Award for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech.

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Kevin P. Arnett P.E. United States Military Academy

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LTC Kevin Arnett is a fifth year Assistant Professor at the US Military Academy. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from USMA in 2001, his M.S. Civil Engineering from U.C. Berkeley in 2011, and his PhD in Structural Engineering from UCSD in 2019. He teaches structural analysis and design of steel structures, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in California and Missouri.

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Abstract

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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