Daytona Beach, Florida
August 6, 2017
August 6, 2017
August 8, 2017
FYEE Division - Paper Submission
First Year Design courses are commonplace in many engineering curriculums. Although the focus of these courses typically revolves around introducing students to various multistep design processes as well as improving student skills in written and oral communication techniques; they can be limited in replicating the experience of working in a real world interdisciplinary design environment. In an industrial setting, design teams are comprised of members that have the complementary skills that are necessary to complete the relevant task. There are many tools, like CATME, available to replicate this process of designing student teams based on complementary skills. Prior studies have illustrated that, although assigned teams can improve the experience for some, it can also drastically diminish the student experience for others. This work focuses on the assignment of student design teams based on both complementary skills as well as shared interests.
As part of the common first year engineering curriculum at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Ma, students participate on the Introduction to Engineering Design course. This work studies two years-worth of data on the impact of assigned groups in these courses, as they pertain to overall student experience. For this, various sections of the course adopted one of the following structures for group assignments: 1) student selected, 2) skills-based instructor assigned, 3) skills and student interest based instructor assigned. Written feedback and peer assessment, based on ABET Outcome D: Ability to function in multidisciplinary teams, were collected from the students. Our analysis focuses on the process of intelligently assigning student groups and the techniques that can improve the overall student experience. The authors hope to engage in a spirited discussion on the merits of assigned student design teams as well as propose an alternative approach for instructors planning to engage students in interdisciplinary project based courses.
McCusker, J. R., & Carpenter, A., & Sosnik, J. (2017, August), Improving the Student Experience in First Year Engineering Design Courses Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida. https://www.jee.org/29421
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