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Design the Future Activities (DFA): A Pedagogical Content Knowledge Framework in Engineering Design Education

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Design Pedagogy 2

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Hadi Ali Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

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Hadi studies the influence of the future of work on curricular innovation, with a focus on exploring the relationships between and among adaptability, risk taking and value making. In an effort to characterize engineering education as an (eco)system for creating value, Hadi’s approach integrates analytical methods of data science to address changes in systems and society. More broadly, Hadi is interested in examining how engineering innovations mobilize social and economic change. He has graduate degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics (space systems design, astrodynamics and propulsion), Electrical and Computer Engineering (artificial intelligence, fields and optics) and Engineering Education (design cognition and human communication inquiry) all from Purdue University. He also has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering (design) from the University of Jordan, and an undergraduate degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue. He taught courses in use-inspired design at ASU and in transforming ideas to innovations at Purdue. Prior to joining ASU, Hadi worked at the University of Jordan as a facilitator for curricular change and design content instructor at the Department of Mechatronics. He was on the management team of the Amman Design Week in its inaugural year in Jordan, launched by Queen Rania--a pioneering platform that harnessed creativity, revived the conversation about design, and instilled a spirit of collaboration and exchange.

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Andrew David Maynard Arizona State University

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Andrew Maynard is a scientist, author, and a leading thinkers on socially responsible and ethical innovation. As Director of the ASU Risk Innovation Lab, he is working at the boundaries of how we think about risk and learn to succeed as we develop increasingly complex technologies.

Andrew’s work spans both emerging and converging technologies, from nanotechnology and synthetic biology to autonomous vehicles, neurotechnologies and artificial intelligence. A professor in the ASU College of Global Futures (where he is Associate Dean of Curricula and Student Success) he brings a transdisciplinary approach to problem solving that combines the natural and social sciences with the arts and humanities, to explore new ways of collectively building a better future.

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We propose an effective, innovative framework for developing content for design activities that address the challenges of the future where emerging technologies play a central role. Although engineering education research is concerned with preparing future engineers, the integration of future trends in technology with the engineering curriculum has been limited. We propose the Design the Future Activities (DFA) as a framework for systematically identifying and integrating emerging areas of research and technologies, such as artificial intelligence, into the teaching of engineering design. The core of developing and delivering the DFA framework is the teaching of the technology of artificial intelligence (AI). Because these technologies will change the nature of the future, we seek to engage with the ongoing discourse on the relationship between content (for design education) and pedagogy, through a proposed pedagogical content knowledge conceptual framework. Through a scholarship of integration that breaks the boundaries between disciplines, we propose a three-level framework: (1) Understanding technology analysis and system integration (to allow students to identify appropriate solutions given new technologies); (2) Making a value chain (or how these are appropriate solutions); and (3) Developing responsible innovations (or why these are appropriate solutions). While engineers continue to be creators and influencers of such technologies, the lack of understanding of the impact of their own technologies continues to cause an imbalanced innovation landscape, in education and in the workplace. We conclude that a new design approach to the engineering curriculum should be attempted, assuming that educators will systematically anticipate the future and recalibrate the curriculum.

Ali, H., & Maynard, A. D. (2021, July), Design the Future Activities (DFA): A Pedagogical Content Knowledge Framework in Engineering Design Education Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36924

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