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How to Design a Design Project: Guidance for New Instructors in First and Second Year Engineering Courses

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Design and Graphics Potpourri

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.787.1 - 22.787.19



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Paper Authors

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Andrew Trivett University of Prince Edward Island


Stephen Champion University of Prince Edward Island

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Current chair of the UPEI Engineering Department and facilitator of Project Based Design courses at the University of Prince Edward Island.

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The development of a resource tool for design project instructors in first and second year PBL coursesAbstractEngineering programs throughout North America continue to add curriculum approaches that useproject-based learning (PBL). 7 Atlantic Canadian universities share a common first two yearengineering program, and all have begun to implement a design-project core of coursesthroughout all common semesters. One of the difficulties in implementing the courses is thecomfort level of instructors with the teaching methods. This problem is exacerbated by thewidely different class-sizes and physical resources of all 7 campuses.This paper describes the development of a set of teaching resources to help aid the adoption ofnew project-based learning approaches. While the intent of the project was to specifically aidfaculty in the 7 target programs in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, this problem is seen inmany universities where faculty are unfamiliar with PBL teaching approaches, and thus arereluctant or resistant to introduce these to their classes. The resource approach is to developmodular content within six major categories, a) active learning class structures, b) in-classapproaches, c) active learning assignment bank, d) evaluation methods, e) case studies andexample projects, f) problems encountered and lessons learned.Each of the major topics was selected based on the expectation of the needs of an instructor on aday-to-day basis while teaching. The project demonstrates an initial set of content in eachcategory. Since it was assumed that a fixed content bank would quickly become obsolete,approaches to ensure that the content is continually updated by faculty were implemented at theoutset. The initial implementation has been demonstrated in on-line course managementsoftware, and can be utilized in many university engineering faculties. A report of initialfeedback from teaching faculty to the tools will be part of the presentation.

Trivett, A., & Champion, S. (2011, June), How to Design a Design Project: Guidance for New Instructors in First and Second Year Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18068

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