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Immersive Experience Impact on Students' Understanding of Design

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Developing the Design Skillset

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

24.690.1 - 24.690.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20582

Download Count

28

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Paper Authors

biography

Antonette T. Cummings P.E. Purdue University

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Antonette Cummings is a Ph.D. student in Engineering Education at Purdue University. She holds an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Carla B. Zoltowski Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Carla B. Zoltowski, Ph.D., is Co-Director of the EPICS Program at Purdue University. She received her B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering and Ph.D. in engineering education, all from Purdue University. She has served as a lecturer in Purdue’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Zoltowski’s academic and research interests include human-centered design learning and assessment, service-learning, ethical reasoning development and assessment, leadership, and assistive technology.

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Ming-Chien Hsu Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Ming-Chien Hsu is a doctoral candidate of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She was an electrical engineer working on semiconductor devices before stepping into the realm of education research. Her current research explores and characterizes learning experiences in engineering such as design and interdisciplinary learning.

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Monica E. Cardella Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-4229-6183

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Monica Cardella is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She teaches design to first-year engineering students at Purdue as well as an upper-level design course for seniors and graduate students. Her research focuses on the development of engineering thinking skills (operationalized as design thinking, mathematical thinking, and the interplay between the two) in children as young as 4 years old as well as older "children" (i.e. undergraduate students).

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William C. Oakes Purdue University, West Lafayette

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William (Bill) Oakes is the Director of the EPICS Program and Professor at Purdue University. He is one of the founding faculty members in the School of Engineering Education with courtesy appointments in Mechanical, Environmental and Ecological Engineering as well as Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. He has received numerous awards for his efforts at Purdue including being elected as a fellow of the Teaching Academy and listed in the Book of Great Teachers. He was the first engineer to receive the U.S. Campus Compact Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning. He was a co-recipient of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering’s Bernard Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education and the recipient of the ASEE Chester Carlson Award for Innovation in Engineering Education. He is a fellow of ASEE and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).

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Abstract

Immersive Experience Impact on Understanding of Design Design is a central and distinguishing activity of engineering and one of the core criteriafor evaluating and accrediting engineering programs. In today’s globally competitive economy,it is more important than ever to develop effective design skills within the undergraduate years.Furthermore, developing a human-centered approach to design is vital to appropriately preparinggraduates for the globally competitive workplace. In response, design education has receivedincreased attention within the curriculum which has motivated the creation of multidisciplinaryprograms focused on the development of engineering products and solutions. One such programengages multidisciplinary teams of students in community-based design projects. Our community engagement program has intentionally focused on long-term partnershipsand local community partners because of the learning benefits afforded through the ability toengage with community partners more regularly. Previous studies have indicated thatunderstanding the nature of those interactions between students and their community partnersand other stakeholders is important. For example, research suggests that critical experiences(where design assumptions are confronted) and immersive experiences are needed to developmore comprehensive ways of understanding design. This past summer our service-learning design program had the opportunity to offer animmersive design experience to a group of 13 students (12 undergraduate, 1 graduate) from avariety of majors. The goal of the design team was to make the camp more accessible throughthe design of an accessible tree house and the adaptation of a sailboat to allow control of thesteering through a switch (e.g., puff and sip or joystick). The students completed one week oncampus, then traveled to a camp for children with disabilities for a week. During this week, thestudents ate meals and attended various activities with the campers and met with variousstakeholders. They also involved the campers in the design of the tree house. After spending aweek at camp, the students returned to campus to continue work on the designs. In order to understand the impact of this experience on the students’ understanding ofdesign, we had the students complete a design task at the beginning and end of the immersiveexperience. The design task asks participants to respond to a specific scenario with a designplan, as well as explores motivations through open-ended questions. We have analyzed thechanges between the pre- and post-administration of the instrument and preliminary resultssuggest that the immersive experience did develop a more comprehensive understanding ofhuman-centered design. This paper briefly describes the immersive learning experience and examines the impactthat an immersive community engagement experience has had on student learning of design. Wealso compare the pre/post responses to data we have collected from a similar participation thatdid not have the immersive experience. Finally, we suggest how these findings can informdesign education.

Cummings, A. T., & Zoltowski, C. B., & Hsu, M., & Cardella, M. E., & Oakes, W. C. (2014, June), Immersive Experience Impact on Students' Understanding of Design Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20582

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