June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
24.892.1 - 24.892.8
ENT Measuring Innovative Thinking Skills in Innovation Challenge ActivitiesIndustry has recognized the need to increase innovation in the engineering workforce. Engineerswith innovative thinking skills have the ability solve problems in new ways, which can lead tobetter generation of solutions. Consequently, innovation leads to a better quality of products.Literature emphasize a certain skillset that defines innovative thinking: • Critical thinking and generation of new ideas • Application and integration of new and existing knowledge • Communication of new ideas to stakeholders • Effective use of tools and technology during the design process • Complex thinking processed • Prototyping and commercialization.The need for innovation in industry translates to a need to better prepare engineering students tobe innovative thinkers. The purpose of this paper is to present how innovative thinking skills arebeing assessed through small-scale innovation design challenges.Efforts are being made to improve innovative the thinking skills of undergraduate engineeringstudents through a multidisciplinary living-learning program. The living-learning programencompasses four separate STEM living-learning communities: 2 science living-learningcommunities and 2 engineering living-learning communities. To promote innovation, the living-learning program provides Innovation Challenges in which students learn about real-worldapplications of innovation and entrepreneurship through the completion of small, hands-ondesign challenges. Company representatives often lead the Innovation Challenges. The designchallenge is typically based on a company product or project. For example, an automobilecompany asked participants to design and build a muffler prototype from glue and PVC pipesand then tested its ability to reduce noise using a tone generator.Innovative thinking skills are assessed during and after each Innovation Challenge to determinethe students’ levels of innovative thinking skills and whether the various aspects of innovativethinking are addressed in each challenge. Students are assessed by observers using a rubric toevaluate individual teams based on the innovative thinking skills that they demonstrate duringthe activity. After each event, students are also asked to take a survey, reporting their self-perceptions of their innovative thinking skills. Currently, data show that Innovation Challengeshave positive effects on students’ innovative thinking skills. As Innovation Challenges continuethroughout the 2013-2014 academic, data will be analyzed. Results of this study can identifywhether the current pedagogy being used is an effective way to teach innovation in anengineering program.
Amelink, C. T., & Wade, C. S., & Watford, B. A., & Cuadrado-Medina, J. A., & Folgar-Lopez, J. C., & Lewis, S. N. (2014, June), Measuring Innovative Thinking Skills in Innovation Challenge Activities Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/22825
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