Asee peer logo

Inquiry-Based Student Learning

Download Paper |


2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.595.1 - 6.595.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Sridhar Condoor

author page

Richard Weber

Download Paper |


In the traditional engineering curriculum, students are presented with and tested on factual knowledge. Very little emphasis is placed on their thought process, which is more important as it can lead to inventions and innovations. This attitude is reflected in the common answer “I don’t know” from the students who do not spend any effort or time to think. The engineering programs at St. Louis and Fairfield Universities have the common objective: Enable the development of conceptual engineering reasoning abilities. In other words, our goal is plant the seeds of reasoning that develop the student’s intellectual independence. We adopted a teaching model, which involves developing an appreciation for the design process and the functionality. Students developed thinking skills though cognitive inquiry based on “Identify an interesting configuration – Understand the core concept/functionality – Observe similar configurations.” After this exercise, students understand the concept, identify new situations and apply the concept. The students can then observe new everyday things in their environment and create a library of possible innovative ideas. The paper describes a teaching model with several illustrative examples. The examples cover a wide range of topics from engineering concepts to design. Also, included are case studies with our students dealing with cognitive inquiry of objects based on concepts and functionality.

Condoor, S., & Weber, R. (2001, June), Inquiry-Based Student Learning Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9396

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2001 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015