Asee peer logo

Evaluation and Analysis of Freshman Design Courses in Engineering

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Design in Freshman and Sophomore Courses

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.649.1 - 22.649.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Tiffany Veltman University of Calgary

visit author page

Tiffany Veltman received her B.Sc. in software engineering from the University of Calgary, AB, Canada in June, 2010. Currently, she is pursuing a Master's degree at the University of Calgary, in the field of engineering education research. Specifically, her research is focused on developing qualitative metrics for the assessment of student learning and engineering curriculum.

visit author page

author page

William (Bill) Rosehart University of Calgary

author page

Marjan Eggermont University of Calgary

author page

Denis Onen University of Calgary

Download Paper |


Evaluation and Analysis of Freshman Design Courses in EngineeringDesign is a crucial component to engineering. Therefore, it is important for engineering studentsto learn and practice design skills early in their education. This paper describes an evaluation oftwo implementations of design education for first year students at the Schulich School ofEngineering.The first implementation was a yearlong design course structure, introduced in 2002. Theyearlong design course emphasized the practice of design in engineering, including the implicitintegration of project management, communication, social considerations, and the application ofscientific and mathematic principles taught in other first year courses.The second implementation is a single semester approach, first introduced in September 2010.The semester course takes a blended approach to developing engineering skills, in which aclassroom environment is used to provide students with the theoretical foundation of designmethodologies, including explicit instruction on oral, written, and graphical communication, aswell as aspects of project management. Weekly workshops and projects are then used to givestudents hands-on experience with the processes and methods instructed in the classroom,thereby providing a balance between an academic, textbook-based education and a strictlyexperiential learning approach. The general goal of this course is to provide students with anapprenticeship, concentrating on extensively developing a few key attributes of successfulengineers.The focus of this paper is the development of criteria used to compare and analyze these twoapproaches to a freshman design experience. Using the Canadian Engineering AccreditationBoard (CEAB) Graduate Attributes criteria and drawing from the Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate (CDIO) Initiative as the basis for evaluation, a detailed analysis of the strengths andweaknesses of the two design courses in terms of graduate attributes is explored. Further, thepaper links elements and strengths of the courses to graduate attributes, providing indicators thatcould be used for further curriculum development.

Veltman, T., & Rosehart, W. B., & Eggermont, M., & Onen, D. (2011, June), Evaluation and Analysis of Freshman Design Courses in Engineering Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17930

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015