June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.558.1 - 24.558.19
The Dynamics of Engineering Design Discourse in a First Year Robotics-based Engineering CourseThe first year engineering experience has garnered much attention as universities seek toretain students in engineering programs and prepare graduates to engage in rigorousteam-based, design work. To date, much of the research on first year experiences hasbeen of affective and motivational aspects, like self-efficacy, and achievement (e.g.Jones, Paretti, Hein, Knott, 2010). There is limited study of first year engineeringstudents design practices. Atman et al’s (1999) seminal work design has characterizedfirst year engineering students’ design process as naïve in comparison to upper levelstudents, lacking in the amount of problem scoping, questioning, and other designpractices. This work helps us to understand the characteristics of first year students but itfails to give faculty details about the interactions and dynamics to expect in their design-based class.This study seeks to characterize and categorize first year engineering students in-classdiscourse when involved in design challenges through a qualitative study of 3 groups in afirst year robotics-based engineering course. [Name Blinded] University offers severalchoices of design-based courses for students to take in their first semester. [NameBlinded] is a course within the computer science department that includes weekly LEGO-robotics based challenges and a culminating design project. This study looked at 3groups interactions during two challenges in the middle of the semester. Video wasrecorded and transcribed and coded for engineering design practices using Atman et al’s(1999) original protocol with Wendell’ (2013) modifications for group discourse.Preliminary finding show changing design practices based on the context and type ofchallenge. In addition, we see changes in how students frame the problem shifting asthey consider design constraints and classroom constraints. This work has implicationsfor how first year engineering course instructors support and develop engineering designin their interactions with students.
Swenson, J. E., & Portsmore, M. D., & Danahy, E. E. (2014, June), Examining the Engineering Design Process of First-Year Engineering Students During a Hands-on, In-class Design Challenge. Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20449
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