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Systematic Ideation Curriculum Effectiveness Investigation & Deployment To Enhance Design Learning

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1160.1 - 15.1160.14



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Paper Authors

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Noe Vargas Hernandez The University of Texas at El Paso

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Gul Kremer Pennsylvania State University

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Julie Linsey Texas A&M University

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Linda Schmidt University of Maryland

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Systematic Ideation Curriculum Effectiveness Investigation & Deployment to Enhance Design Learning


This paper presents our current research on the effectiveness of TRIZ, emphasis on sketching and technology enabled sketching in improving the ideation performance of undergraduate engineering students in classroom settings. This research also investigates the impact of TRIZ and two other conditions, emphasis on sketching and the Pulse Smartpen, for their impact on the ideation performance and provide understanding into the mechanisms by which they operate to this end. Our objective is to test our hypotheses that TRIZ, sketching, or the pulse Smartpen improve design ideation alone or in some combination. To this end, we defined experimental design and protocols to study design and ideation tools, and thereby, provide a standard way to benchmark tool effectiveness. This research work involves rigorous experimental designs to collect quantitative and qualitative data to answer the following three research questions. 1. Can TRIZ improve the ideation performance of engineering students? 2. Can sketching improve the ideation performance of engineering students? 3. Can technology enabled journaling (via Pulse Smartpen) improve the ideation performance of engineering students? The treatment conditions are applied to classes of engineering students from different backgrounds and different institutions. Partial results are presented for this work in progress supported by NSF (0920446 and 0920707).

1 Introduction

Design learning and the related design ability have a three-pronged foundation: 1) design process knowledge, 2) design analysis knowledge, and 3) creative processing ability (ideation). Design process knowledge, in general, is taught in first year design courses, and then practiced throughout the engineering curriculum culminating in the capstone design course. During second and third year courses, the engineering curriculum focuses on analytical concepts and techniques ultimately intended to support design analysis ability. Given the overcrowded traditional engineering curriculum, it is not surprising that students do not improve their creative processing skills. The proliferation of assistive software for design has an impact on student training as well. For example, sketching was a critical skill in traditional engineering design but the practice has become less important to students as computer-aided drawing tools have become available to them.

Industrial and academic leaders long expressed concerns about the impact of traditional engineering education on the creative potential of future engineers. A lack of creativity is viewed as problematic in a rapidly changing technology-oriented world where generating new ideas is essential to survival1,2. Industry has also perceived new BS engineering graduates as lacking design capability or creativity, as well as an appreciation for considering alternatives. In the past several years, universities have responded to these challenges by adding more design content and introducing more open-ended design problems into their engineering curricula. Improving

Vargas Hernandez, N., & Kremer, G., & Linsey, J., & Schmidt, L. (2010, June), Systematic Ideation Curriculum Effectiveness Investigation & Deployment To Enhance Design Learning Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16740

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