June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1510.1 - 26.1510.10
The Challenge of Developing Transferable Problem Formulation Design Behaviors in First-‐Year Students Problem identification and formulation skills such as engaging stakeholders, developing requirements, and performing research are core learning outcomes in design courses. It is common for students to work in teams to execute this work and submit a report that contains specific information (e.g., customer needs, a mapping of needs to design requirements, functional requirements) required by the instructor. Earlier studies with students from multiple universities have found that, while students may demonstrate such skills on required reports during a first-‐year design class, a surprisingly small percentage of students would adopt those behaviors on design projects after completing these classes . Since these initial studies, additional data have been collected on first-‐year design classes at State University over several years. During this same time, several changes to the first-‐year engineering design class have been implemented in an effort to increase the percentage of students who adopt problem formulation behaviors on design projects. The focus of this paper is to present results from this additional data. The Design Process Knowledge (DPK) critique tool was used to assess students’ likelihood of applying problem formulation skills on design projects. On the DPK, students critique a proposed design process that has several deficiencies, including the lack of problem formulation activities. One earlier study showed that only 9 percent of students in a first-‐year design class at Chiva University identified the lack of problem formulation activities as a deficiency before the class, and only 11% did so after the class. This difference was not statistically significant in spite of the fact that students were doing these problem formulation activities during class projects. Similar results were found at State University. In short: making students do problem formulation in a class was not sufficient for students to adopt such behaviors in projects after the class was over. Results from the more recent data show that well over 50% of students are now recognizing that problem formulation steps are completely missing from the DPK assessment. We explore possible reasons for the large change in learning in recent years, with evidence pointing towards the importance of continually exposing students to the differences between their instinctive design behaviors and the behaviors of effective engineering designers.  [name removed for anonymity of review], "[title removed for anonymity of review]," International Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 24, 2008.
Bailey, R. (2015, June), The Challenge of Developing Transferable Problem Formulation Design Behaviors in First-year Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24848
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