New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
Teaching design and communication skills to engineering students is always a challenging and evolving process. Many design courses compromise a project in order to provide students a hands-on experience to address different aspects of design. Project selection is very important to motivate and encourage creativity in the students. It also alters the teaching efficiency significantly.
Principles of Design course has been taught as a part of Engineering Science curriculum at a private Liberal Arts University since 2010. It gives engineering science students the opportunity to work on several of the steps in the engineering design process: formulation of a problem, creative approaches to solving the problem, analysis, materials selection, and economics. This course is also a Writing Unit course, where formal writing is a substantial mode of learning. Authors of this paper were co-instructors of the course and assigned different projects to the students during the first four offerings, every year improving the projects according to the observations and student feedback to better address the course’s learning objectives. In spring 2013, the assigned project was the design and implementation of a Rube Goldberg machine. Based on student outcomes and course evaluations, it was decided to repeat the same concept with some technical modifications to make the Rube Goldberg machine more advanced and challenging for junior level engineering students. This paper presents the assigned Rube Goldberg projects, writing unit requirement of the course, teaching method, and an analysis of the effectiveness of the different project assignments over different offerings. Course outcomes and assessment results of the different projects are also discussed.
Selvi, E., & Soto-Cabán, S. (2016, June), Experiences in Teaching Writing Unit Design Courses to Engineering Students with Advanced Rube Goldberg Projects Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26815
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