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Exploring Students' Product Design Concept Generation and Development Practices

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session


Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Jin Woo Lee University of Michigan

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Jin Woo Lee is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan.

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Shanna R. Daly University of Michigan Orcid 16x16

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Shanna Daly is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. She has a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University.

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Varghese Ittoop Vadakumcherry University of Michigan

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Varghese Vadakumcherry is a senior at the University of Michigan, currently pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has a great interest in Design Science and is currently working with Dr. Shanna Daly in developing methods conducive to the design process, particularly in the early stages of concept generation and selection.

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Engineers are challenged with addressing open-ended design problems; successful innovation often hinges on the generation of creative concepts during early stage ideation and the ability to iterate on those concepts to develop final designs. To explore students’ approaches to concept generation and development, we conducted a multiple phase think-aloud and interview study to uncover current student practices and explore the impact of a specific instructional approach—learning blocks, which combine online learning with one-on-one coaching sessions to provide feedback to students—on students’ ability to incorporate best practices in their idea generation and development approaches. In this paper, we describe the practices of three student participants to provide in-depth understanding of students with different educational levels. These three participants demonstrated a range of approaches to idea generation and development in their pre-instructional sessions, such as generating a limited number of ideas and searching for existing ideas. After completing the learning blocks, all students showed progress, including minimizing evaluating their initial ideas, which led to an increase of ideas generated and developed. Furthermore, students were equipped with ideation techniques that helped them explore the solution space and come up with ideas in a systematic manner. This study reveals challenges students have in idea generation and development and the impact that instruction can have on their incorporation of best practices.

Lee, J. W., & Daly, S. R., & Vadakumcherry, V. I. (2018, June), Exploring Students' Product Design Concept Generation and Development Practices Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30494

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