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Engineering Graphics Concepts: A Delphi Study

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Topics Related To Engineering Design Graphics Division

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.627.1 - 26.627.10



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Paper Authors


Mary A. Sadowski Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Mary A. Sadowski has been at Purdue since 2003 and until September 1, 2011 served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Learning in the Purdue College of Technology where she provided leadership for strategic initiatives in undergraduate education.

As a professor of Computer Graphics, her research interests include enhancing visualization skills, creative thinking, and learning styles. She is currently funded to begin gathering data to create a concept inventory for engineering graphics. As a professor at both Purdue University and Arizona State University, Mary's specialty is computer and technical graphics. Dr. Sadowski received her B.S. from Bowling Green State University, her M.S. from The Ohio State University, and her Ph.D. from Purdue University.

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Sheryl A. Sorby Ohio State University

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Dr. Sheryl Sorby is currently a Professor of STEM Education at The Ohio State University and was recently a Fulbright Scholar at the Dublin Institute of Technology in Dublin, Ireland. She is a professor emerita of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University and the PI or coPI on more than $9 million in grant funding, mostly for educational projects. She is the former Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Engineering at Michigan Tech and she served at the National Science Foundation as a Program Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education from January 2007 through August 2009. Prior to her appointment as Associate Dean, Dr. Sorby served as chair of the Engineering Fundamentals Department at Michigan Tech. In this capacity, she was responsible for the development and delivery of the newly adopted First Year Engineering Program at Michigan Tech. She received a B.S. in Civil Engineering, an M.S. in Engineering Mechanics, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, all from Michigan Tech. Dr. Sorby has a well-established research program in spatial visualization and is actively involved in the development of various educational programs.

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Engineering Graphics Concepts: A Delphi StudyThe Delphi technique is a consensus building, forecasting technique conducted via mail or Internetwith a selected panel of experts and in 2010 the authors were awarded an NSF grant to conduct aDelphi study to define the fundamental concepts of Engineering Graphics. The concepts determinedthrough this study will be used to develop an Engineering Graphics Concept Inventory. A conceptinventory is an instrument that can help faculty identify the concepts that their students do notunderstand and decide which misconceptions are the most prevalent. It can be used to help defineimportant fundamental topics for instruction and learningThe Delphi technique typically encourages panellists to include comments as they make their ratingsresulting in a rich written conversation about choices made, possible options, and changes that mightbe made in future rounds. The conversation, which is shared with all the participants, can help shapedecisions made by other participants.This paper will focus on the quantitative and qualitative results of the engineering graphics Delphistudy that included graphic experts from universities, community colleges, high schools, and industry.Initial brainstorming activities resulted in 80 graphic topics that were rated by the expert panel in thefirst of three rounds. Successive rounds further defined the concepts that were considered critical forthe discipline of engineering graphics. After three rounds, ten major graphic concepts with 37 aspectswithin those major concepts were identified. These concepts will be used to develop an EngineeringGraphics Concept Inventory, with a focus on concepts that are difficult for students to fullycomprehend. As a final step, the engineering graphics community was surveyed to determine whichof the candidate concepts should be included in the Concept Inventory. Results from this survey willalso be presented in this paper.

Sadowski, M. A., & Sorby, S. A. (2015, June), Engineering Graphics Concepts: A Delphi Study Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23965

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