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Innovative Design within the Context of Virtual Internships: How Can It Be Defined and How is It Related to the Student Design Process?

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session II

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/p.25721

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/25721

Download Count

64

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Paper Authors

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Matthew Raymond Markovetz University of Pittsburgh

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Matthew Markovetz is Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. His interest in both engineering education and technical engineering research developed while studying Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Matthew’s research in education focuses on methods that increase innovation in product design, and his laboratory research seeks to understand and treat the airway dehydration present in patients with Cystic Fibrosis through mathematical modeling and systems engineering principles.

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Renee M Clark University of Pittsburgh

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Dr. Renee Clark has 23 years of experience as an engineer and analyst. She currently serves as the Director of Assessment for the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering and its Engineering Education Research Center (EERC), where her research focuses on assessment and evaluation of engineering education research projects and initiatives. She has most recently worked for Walgreens as a Sr. Data Analyst and General Motors/Delphi Automotive as a Sr. Applications Programmer and Manufacturing Quality Engineer. She received her PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and her MS in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western while working for Delphi. She completed her postdoctoral studies in engineering education at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Clark has published articles in the Journal of Engineering Education, Advances in Engineering Education, and Risk Analysis.

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Golnaz Arastoopour Irgens University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Golnaz Arastoopour is a Ph.D. student in Learning Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before becoming interested in education, Golnaz studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In Urbana, she worked as a computer science instructor at Campus Middle School for Girls. She earned her M.A. in mathematics education at Columbia University, Teachers College and taught in the Chicago Public School system. Currently, Golnaz is working with the Epistemic Games Research Group where she designs engineering virtual internship simulations. Her current research is focused on engineering design learning in virtual environments and assessing design thinking.

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Zachari Lucius Swiecki

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Graduate student in educational psychology, learning sciences area.

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David Williamson Shaffer University of Wisconsin, Madison

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David Williamson Shaffer is a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in the Department of Educational Psychology, and a Game Scientist at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. His most recent book is How Computer Games Help Children Learn.

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Naomi C. Chesler University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Naomi C. Chesler is Professor of Biomedical Engineering with an affiliate appointment in Educational Psychology. Her research interests include vascular biomechanics, hemodynamics and cardiac function as well as the factors that motivate students to pursue and persist in engineering careers, with a focus on women and under-represented minorities.

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Cheryl A Bodnar Rowan University

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Cheryl A. Bodnar, Ph.D., CTDP is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University. Dr. Bodnar’s research interests relate to the incorporation of active learning techniques in undergraduate classes as well as integration of innovation and entrepreneurship into the engineering curriculum. In particular, she is interested in the impact that these tools can have on student perception of the classroom environment, motivation and learning outcomes. She obtained her certification as a Training and Development Professional (CTDP) from the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD) in 2010, providing her with a solid background in instructional design, facilitation and evaluation. She was selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium in 2013 and awarded the American Society for Engineering Education Educational Research Methods Faculty Apprentice Award in 2014.

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Abstract

Innovative Design within the Context of Virtual Internships: How Can it Be Defined and How is it Related to the Student Design Process?

Definitions of “innovative design” vary among authors and fields of study. This makes it difficult to establish how to determine innovative designs in new design environments, such as in a virtual internship environment. Nephrotex is a virtual internship which encourages players, who assume the role of virtual interns within the game, to fully explore a constrained design space with the goal of producing an optimized dialysis membrane. As a useful starting point for our definition of “innovative design” within this design environment, we referenced the work of Baregheh et al. (2009) and formed the following definition: “A process that not only leads to unique physical or technical product attributes but also adds value beyond existing designs on the market.” We defined uniqueness based on the design occurring infrequently amongst the final products of student design teams. Quality was assessed based on the work of Arastoopour and colleagues (2014), taking technical and economic performance into consideration to determine how well the design was able to meet the Nephrotex internal consultant requirements for the design.

Using this definition, we sought to answer the following research question: How does the design process differ for a team that generates an innovative vs. non-innovative design within a virtual internship? Specifically, do innovative teams report more frequently that they spend the most time on certain design activities (grouped using Dym’s design framework) versus non-innovative teams? Further, do innovative teams make their final design justifications on the basis of different factors than non-innovative teams do?

This research was conducted with sophomore chemical engineering students in the spring 2014 and 2015 semesters. A total of 50 teams of approximately 4-5 students each were studied. Student design processes were evaluated based on innovativeness as well as weekly journal entries where students reported the three activities they spent the most time on.

Our results showed no significant differences between innovative and non-innovative teams in terms of their reports of the Dym’s-based activities that they spent the most time on, although our sample size was small. The Management category was associated with the largest effect size (d=0.68), with innovative teams reporting more frequently than non-innovative teams that they spent the most time on design activities that were Management-related. In terms of attributes that contributed to innovative products, teams with higher innovation scores tended to prioritize cost and membrane efficiency (as determined by maximum allowable flux) over patient comfort (measured by blood cell reactivity) and projected market sales. Our results are intended to provide a map for design processes that may ultimately lead to more innovative designs within a virtual internship environment.

Markovetz, M. R., & Clark, R. M., & Arastoopour Irgens, G., & Swiecki, Z. L., & Shaffer, D. W., & Chesler, N. C., & Bodnar, C. A. (2016, June), Innovative Design within the Context of Virtual Internships: How Can It Be Defined and How is It Related to the Student Design Process? Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25721

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