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Freshman Design Course At Ipfw

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

DEED Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.622.1 - 9.622.8

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Paper Authors

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Somnath Chattopadhyay

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2428

Freshman Design Course at IPFW

Som Chattopadhyay Department of Engineering Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne 2101 Coliseum Blvd East, Fort Wayne, IN 46805


Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is the sixth largest public university in Indiana with an enrollment of 12,000 students. Typically a commuter campus (although residence halls open in the fall of 2004) the students are a mix of part and full time students, as well as one of traditional and non-traditional types (who have been out of school for several years). The School of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science (ETCS) comprises of five departments, that of Engineering and Computer Science and three Technology departments. All engineering majors are required to take an introductory course on engineering design. The course that was offered during the fall of 2003 had students that were majoring in mechanical, electrical and computer engineering, and also a few undecided majors. This paper outlines some of the novel approaches adopted in this course. Some of the concepts were: (a) use of student teams to study a number of actual case histories at different stages of instruction as well as to perform a number of classroom activities, (b) introduction of a hands-on team project, (c) implementation of a design project in which the student teams apply the engineering design process to conceptualize a real world design problem, and (d) introduction of case studies to teach engineering design.

Classroom Team Activities

The classroom activities comprised of a student-centered collaborative learning approach. The role of the instructor changed from the so-called “sage on the stage” to one of “guide on the side.” The students were grouped in teams of three at the beginning of the course. This structure of teams was retained throughout the duration of the course, and the same teams were also used to perform team projects. Initially a number of activities were introduced to build up the student teams. This included an exercise on coming up with strategies for survival in a problem situation. Also included were a number of brainstorming exercises given during the class, in which the different teams came up with sets of solutions to open-ended problems, and the instructor compared and critiqued their solutions.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Chattopadhyay, S. (2004, June), Freshman Design Course At Ipfw Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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