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Navigating Process-Product Tensions using a Design Canvas

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Design and the Capstone Experience

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

19

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30833

Download Count

20

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Paper Authors

biography

R. Alan Cheville Bucknell University

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Alan Cheville studied optoelectronics and ultrafast optics at Rice University, followed by 14 years as a faculty member at Oklahoma State University working on terahertz frequencies and engineering education. While at Oklahoma State, he developed courses in photonics and engineering design. After serving for two and a half years as a program director in engineering education at the National Science Foundation, he took a chair position in electrical engineering at Bucknell University. He is currently interested in engineering design education, engineering education policy, and the philosophy of engineering education.

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biography

Michael S. Thompson Bucknell University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3444-8503

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Prof. Thompson is an associate professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Bucknell University, in Lewisburg, PA. While his teaching responsibilities typically include digital design, computer-related electives, and senior design, his focus in the classroom is to ignite passion in his students for engineering and design through his own enthusiasm, open-ended projects, and connecting engineering to the world around them. His research tends to focus on the application of mobile computing to a variety of non-technical problems. He holds three degrees in computer engineering including a B.S. from North Carolina State University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

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Abstract

National surveys of design courses find many similarities between the way capstone courses are structured and implemented, although more programs focus on the design process rather than creating a product. What is not as well understood are the methods and techniques used to inform students of interrelationship between product and process. This paper discusses the use of multiple formal design representations as a means to focus learning on the interrelation between design processes and products. The ability to utilize multiple representations have been demonstrated to be effective in improving student learning in math education, a discipline that can be highly process-oriented. Similarly representational fluency impacts engineering modeling. In the context of teaching design the term representation here refers to a written or graphical expression of some aspect of the design process and/or product. Ideally the set of representations would form a minimal and complete orthonormal basis set; that is the ensemble of representations captures the design in its entirety and the representations are not redundant. Since the design work of many engineers is a set of plans or diagrams (forms of representation) the complete set of representations has the potential to capture both the process of design and serve as a product of design work. Over a four year period a set of representations was developed and trialed in a year-long senior capstone course in electrical and computer engineering at a small, private liberal arts institution. Using an iterative, action research approach that included student input a set of representations was developed by modifying or eliminating ineffective representations and introducing new formats based on analysis of students’ response and success. To minimize redundancy and work towards completeness (i.e. a lean, 360 view of the process and product) representations were organized using a “design canvas” modeled after the Business Model Canvas. The Design Canvas classifies representations by actionable questions on two axes—system development and design choices—which in turn are organized hierarchically by scale. Results of the project and examples of representations for the current iteration of the Design Canvas are presented along with the Design Canvas development process.

Cheville, R. A., & Thompson, M. S. (2018, June), Navigating Process-Product Tensions using a Design Canvas Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30833

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