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Students' Self-regulation in a Senior Capstone Design Context: A Comparison Between Mechanical and Biological Engineering Design Projects

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Student Feedback and Assessment in Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Andreas Febrian Utah State University, Engineering Education

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He received his bachelor and master degree in computer science (CS) from Universitas Indonesia, one of the top university in Indonesia. He was an active student who involved in various activities, such as research, teaching assistantship, and student organizations in the campus. He developed various CS skills through courses and research activities, especially in computer architecture, robotics, and web development. Through being a teaching assistant and joining student organizations, he developed an interest in psychology and Affective Computing. Currently, pursuing the Doctoral degree in Engineering Education at Utah State University with focuses in self-regulated learning in engineering design.

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Oenardi Lawanto Utah State University

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Dr. Oenardi Lawanto is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Utah State University, USA. He received his B.S.E.E. from Iowa State University, his M.S.E.E. from the University of Dayton, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before coming to Utah State, Dr. Lawanto taught and held several administrative positions at one large private university in Indonesia. He has developed and delivered numerous international workshops on student-centered learning and online learning-related topics during his service. Dr. Lawanto’s research interests include cognition, learning, and instruction, and online learning.

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Self-regulated learning (SRL), which is often called self-regulation, is defined broadly as a complex repository of knowledge and skills for planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating, and continually improving the learning process. The effective use of self-regulation helps a student oversee his or her learning process by interpreting requirements, planning and monitoring ongoing cognitive activities, and comparing outcomes with internal and external standards. Research suggests that the recursive, dynamic, multi-directional, and complex nature of self-regulated learning (SRL) always occurred in a context. The term context refers to all circumstances or facts that surround a particular SRL action. In a typical higher education settings, the contexts may include various levels of policies (e.g., university, department, and classroom policies), curriculum, subject domain, instructional approaches, and any specific given tasks. The intent of this research is to learn how senior students from two engineering disciplines self-regulate themselves in the Capstone design course. We recruited four groups of students working on four different design projects at a public university in the mountain west of the United States of America; two groups were recruited from the biological engineering (BE) department and the other two groups were recruited from the mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE) department. In addition to the participants’ demographics, qualitative data were collected from course Canvas™, e-Journal, and design journey map. The analysis were framed using Butler & Cartier’s model of self-regulation in context and Dym & Little’s design process frameworks. Four engineering experts, two from each respective engineering discipline, were recruited to help code the design process and students’ self-regulation. Through the chronological narrative analysis, we found that project management, which included the management of time, resources, and team, was a prevailing topic in both disciplines. Due to the nature of their design projects, BE students had more engagement in time management compare to the MAE students. In terms of design process, students from all groups were heavily engaged in preliminary design activities, but somewhat rather disengaged in the detailed design phases. MAE had more dynamics design process compared to the BE, especially students’ self-regulations between problem definition, conceptual, and preliminary design phases. Furthermore, biological engineering students seemed to be heavily engaged with various standards and protocols, compare to their MAE fellow students. On the project management aspect of self-regulation, students from both engineering disciplines seemed to take quite different strategies to respond to their unique design tasks’ requirements.

Febrian, A., & Lawanto, O. (2017, June), Students' Self-regulation in a Senior Capstone Design Context: A Comparison Between Mechanical and Biological Engineering Design Projects Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28872

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