Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Design in Engineering Education
Ideation is a critical stage in the engineering design process and has substantial impacts on downstream decision making. As a result, a better understanding of the factors that positively contribute to ideation effectiveness is of key interest to stakeholders in engineering design education. While previous research has developed approaches for assessing the novelty of brainstorming outputs, less attention has been paid to the relevant factors that might influence that novelty. The purpose of the present work is to explore the ways that brainstorming activity structure and team gender composition might affect the novelty of brainstorming outputs. To address this purpose, we recorded both structured (using the 6-3-5 method) and unstructured brainstorming sessions, while varying the ratio of men to women in each team. We adapted Shah’s (2003) novelty metric to assess the average novelty of design solutions generated in ideation.
We conducted quantitative analyses to explore differences across both gender composition and activity structure. Regarding activity structure, preliminary findings suggest that unstructured brainstorming sessions resulted in higher average novelty than structured sessions. Further, in terms of gender composition, gender-balanced teams generated lower average novelty across both structured and unstructured sessions, and this difference was statistically significant for unstructured groups. Our preliminary findings suggest that both the activity structure and gender composition of engineering teams might influence the novelty of brainstorming outcomes. Therefore, when forming engineering teams and conducting ideation sessions, faculty, project managers, and engineers should consider the ways in which they support ideation activities as well as how they form teams according to gender composition.
Cuellar, E., & Lutz, B. D., & Trageser, D., & Cruz-Lozano, R. (2020, June), Exploring the Influence of Gender Composition and Activity Structure on Engineering Teams' Ideation Effectiveness Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34649
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