June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Engineering Design Graphics
Georgia Tech has recently launched a campus-wide academic initiative aimed at preparing undergraduate students in all engineering majors to use their disciplinary knowledge and skills to contribute to the major societal challenge of creating sustainable communities. This paper presents ongoing sustainability intervention strategies in an engineering graphics course with a contextualized project-based approach. University training in problem solving is primarily done using de-contextualized textbook problems with a one-size-fits-all approach in exploring subject domain’s concepts. Teaching abstracted concepts as well-defined independent entities leads to learning with fixed meaning and immutable concepts. A situated approach to teaching and learning is used in this course, where concept, authentic activity and context guide student learning to produce usable, robust knowledge. Situated cognition leads to negotiable meaning and socially constructed understanding of the domain’s concepts. A socio-technical project-based teaching model with contextualized design problems are currently being used to engage students throughout the course that incorporate structural conditions and sustainability through both individual and team projects.
Human wasteful behavior patterns are cognitively easier to perform but to change that behavior, incentives alone to motivate people to make good choices are not sufficient but increased cognitive effort is required to persist with good choices and actions day after day for sustainable resource use. Designs with external representation to improve the decision process using distributed cognition theories in structured problem-domains has been studied in the past to reduce the cognitive load of individuals or groups (ex: speed bugs in aircraft cockpit display / control design). Application of distributed cognition in the design of products with external representation to promote sustainability is still in its infancy as the design problem-domain is unstructured. Product design with external representations promoting sustainable resource-use, are intended to (i) make hidden information explicit in the design, (ii) motivate people to make decisions that sustain resources, and (iii) help people persist with this behavior by lowering the cognitive load involved in sustainability decisions.
This paper presents various interventions, in an experimental section of the course, related to student projects on environmental sustainability that involve product designs with external representations. A detailed description of pedagogical approaches to learning, strategies , implementation and assessment of intervention activities, student reflections, pre and post-survey data results and lessons learned are presented.
Pucha, R., & Dosa, K., & Alemdar, M., & Newton, S. H. (2019, June), External Representation Design-for-Sustainability Intervention in an Engineering Graphics Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32828
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