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Impact of Problem Contexts on the Diversity of Design Solutions: An Exploratory Case Study

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.889.1 - 26.889.12



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Paper Authors


Seda McKIlligan Iowa State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Yilmaz is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Design. She teaches design studios and lecture courses on developing creativity and research skills. Her current research focuses on identifying impacts of different factors on ideation of designers and engineers and developing instructional materials to foster a more effective ideation process. She often conducts workshops on design thinking to a diverse range of groups including students, practitioners and faculty members from different universities. She received her PhD degree in Design Science in 2010 from University of Michigan. She is also a faculty in Human Computer Interaction Graduate Program and the ISU Site Director for Center for e-Design.

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Meisha Nicole Berg Iowa State University

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Meisha is a Master's student in Mechanical Engineering and Human Computer Interaction. Her research focuses on the use of Immersive Computing Technology to facilitate collaboration between engineering and design students. This includes the evaluation of tools that improve ideation and their role within the collaborative design process.

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Shanna R. Daly University of Michigan Orcid 16x16


Kathryn W. Jablokow Pennsylvania State University, Great Valley

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Dr. Kathryn Jablokow is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Design at Penn State University. A graduate of Ohio State University (Ph.D., Electrical Engineering), Dr. Jablokow’s teaching and research interests include problem solving, invention, and creativity in science and engineering, as well as robotics and computational dynamics. In addition to her membership in ASEE, she is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Fellow of ASME. Dr. Jablokow is the architect of a unique 4-course module focused on creativity and problem solving leadership and is currently developing a new methodology for cognition-based design. She is one of three instructors for Penn State’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Creativity, Innovation, and Change, and she is the founding director of the Problem Solving Research Group, whose 50+ collaborating members include faculty and students from several universities, as well as industrial representatives, military leaders, and corporate consultants.

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Eli M. Silk Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Orcid 16x16

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Wesley Teerlink Penn State University

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Impact of problem contexts on the diversity of design solutions: Anexploratory case studyhe role of ideation in design is to generate design solutions that have the potential for furtherdevelopment. Having many diverse ideas increases the potential for successful design outcomesby increasing the number of possibilities available during concept evaluation and selectionphases. How do we define the problems that would allow for the most diverse solution space?The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of how different contexts impacted thevariety of solutions generated within the solution space, by a diverse group of students. In thisexploratory case study, we report on (1) how we identified a set of design problems with diversecontexts appropriate for students with varied backgrounds, and (2) how we explored the impactof these problem contexts on the size of the solution space, aiming to select the contexts with themost diverse pool of ideas for our ongoing studies [1]. Our results show that diversity judged bymultiple raters was consistent and provided us with evidence to support the decision of whichdesign problems touse in our further studies.

McKIlligan, S., & Berg, M. N., & Daly, S. R., & Jablokow, K. W., & Silk, E. M., & Teerlink, W. (2015, June), Impact of Problem Contexts on the Diversity of Design Solutions: An Exploratory Case Study Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24226

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