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Quantifying Changes in Creativity: Findings from an Engineering Course on the Design of Complex and Origami Structures

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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

Student Empathy and Human-Centered Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

21

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30910

Download Count

67

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Paper Authors

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Justin L Hess Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1210-9535

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Dr. Justin L Hess is the Assistant Director of the STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute. His research interests include ethics, design, and sustainability. Dr. Hess received each of his degrees from Purdue University, including a PhD in Engineering Education, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He is currently the Vice Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers' Committee on Sustainability subcommittee on Formal Engineering Education.

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Anusha Sathyanarayanan Rao Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Anusha Sathyanarayanan Rao is an assistant director at the IUPUI Center for Teaching and Learning. She manages the center's graduate student and postdoc development program, assists faculty with instructional design and assessment for course and curriculum development. Anusha is also an adjunct assistant professor in electrical engineering at IUPUI. She received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering and postdoctoral training in educational psychology from Vanderbilt University. Her research focused on tracking and quantifying movement disorders using signal and image processing techniques.

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Grant Fore Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-5432-0726

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Grant Fore is a Research Associate in the STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute (SEIRI) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. As a SEIRI staff member, Grant is involved in both qualitative research and research development. His research interests include ethics and equity in STEM education, the intersubjective experience of the instructor/student encounter, secondary STEM teacher professional development, and issues of power in STEM education discourse. He is also an Anthropology doctoral candidate at the University of Cape Town, where he was previously awarded a Master's degree. His dissertation research is focused on exploring the ethical becoming of architecture students within courses utilizing community-engaged pedagogies.

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Jiangmei Wu Indiana University, Bloomington

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Jiangmei Wu is an interdisciplinary scholar and artist/designer. She has been investigating the relationship between geometry, computational algorithms, and making techniques in the art, science, and engineering of paper folding.

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Andres Tovar Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

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Andres Tovar, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Energy Engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He previously served as a Research Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame and Associate Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering at the National University of Colombia. Prof. Tovar received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. in Industrial Automation from the National University in 1995 and 2000, respectively. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2004 and 2005. Currently, Prof. Tovar is the director of the Engineering Design Research Laboratory at IUPUI and the faculty mentor for the IUPUI Robotics Club. His main research areas include biologically inspired optimization and multiscale design methods for materials and mechanical systems.

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Sohel Anwar Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

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Dr. Anwar is an Associate Professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI. He is also the graduate program chair of the department and the director of Mechatronics research lab. He has over 23 years of combined academic and industry R & D experience in the general area of mechatronics. He received his Ph.D. from University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ in 1995. He worked as an R&D engineer at Caterpillar, Inc. between 1995 and 1999 where he focused on X-By-Wire systems design for Wheel Loaders. He then joined Ford Motor Company / Visteon Corporation in 1999 as a Senior R&D engineer where he led the fault tolerant design of Drive-By-Wire systems. He joined Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) to develop coursework and to establish a funded research program in the area of Mechatronics and Controls in 2004. In his recent grant from National Science Foundation (NSF), he is currently leading a team to develop graduate courses and research projects to enhance creativity and innovativeness in the area of design and mechatronics.
Dr. Anwar has published over 120 papers in peer-reviewed journal and conference proceedings. He is also listed as an inventor or co-inventor on 14 US patents. Dr. Anwar’s research interests include autonomous vehicle systems, electrified powertrain, diagnostics, biomechatronics, energy related technologies. He is a member of ASME, IEEE, SAE, and a faculty advisor for SAE student chapter at IUPUI. He is on the editorial board of three international journals including IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology.

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Abstract

Engineering educators have increasingly sought strategies for integrating the arts into their curricula. The primary objective of this integration varies, but one common objective is to improve students’ creative thinking skills. In this paper, we sought to quantify changes in student creativity that resulted from participation in a mechanical engineering course targeted at integrating engineering, technology, and the arts. The course was team taught by instructors from mechanical engineering and art. The art instructor introduced origami principles and techniques as a means for students to optimize engineering structures. Through a course project, engineering student teams interacted with art students to perform structural analysis on an origami-based art installation, which was the capstone project of the art instructor’s undergraduate origami course. Three engineering student teams extended this course project to collaborate with the art students in the final design and physical installation.

To evaluate changes in student creativity, we used two instruments: a revised version of the Reisman Diagnostic Creativity Assessment (RDCA) and the Innovative Behavior Scales. Initially, the survey contained 12 constructs, but three were removed due to poor internal consistency reliability: Extrinsic Motivation; Intrinsic Motivation; and Tolerance of Ambiguity. The nine remaining constructs used for comparison herein included:

• Originality: Confidence in developing original, innovative ideas • Ideation: Confidence in generating many ideas • Risk Taking: Adventurous; Brave • Openness of Process: Engaging various potentialities and resisting closure • Iterative Processing: Willingness to iterate on one’s solution • Questioning: Tendency to ask lots of questions • Experimenting/exploring: Tendency to physically or mentally take things apart • Idea networking: Tendency to engage with diverse others in communicative acts • Observing: Tendency to observe the surrounding world

By conducting a series of paired t-tests to ascertain if pre and post-course responses were significantly different on the above constructs, we found five significant changes. In order of significance, these included Idea Networking; Questioning; Observing; Originality; and Ideation. To help explain these findings, and to identify how this course may be improved in subsequent offerings, the discussion includes the triangulation of these findings in light of teaching observations, responses from a mid-semester student focus group session, and informal faculty reflections. We close with questions that we and others ought to address as we strive to integrate engineering, technology, and the arts. We hope that these findings and discussion will guide other scholars and instructors as they explore the impact of art on engineering design learning, and as they seek to evaluate student creativity resulting from courses with similar aims.

Hess, J. L., & Sathyanarayanan Rao, A., & Fore, G., & Wu, J., & Tovar, A., & Anwar, S. (2018, June), Quantifying Changes in Creativity: Findings from an Engineering Course on the Design of Complex and Origami Structures Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30910

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