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The Design Problem Framework: Using Adaption-Innovation Theory to Construct Design Problem Statements

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Best of DEED

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

28

Page Numbers

24.1194.1 - 24.1194.28

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/23127

Download Count

99

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Paper Authors

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Eli M. Silk University of Michigan Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1248-6629

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Eli Silk is a Research Fellow in the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching in Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. He has a B.A. in Computer Science from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Studies in Education from the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests are focused broadly on investigating processes of learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The central aspect of his work has been trying to understand the bidirectional impacts that occur when students attempt to coordinate ideas and practices from the more basic disciplines of Science and Mathematics with related ideas and practices from the more applied disciplines of Technology and Engineering. This focus includes investigating how students learn to use the engineering design process as a tool for improving their understanding of situations along with their ability to design solutions for those situations.

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Shanna R. Daly University of Michigan Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4698-2973

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Shanna Daly is an Assistant Research Scientist and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. She has a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University. Her research focuses on idea generation, design strategies, design ethnography, creativity instruction, and engineering practitioners who return to graduate school. She teaches design and entrepreneurship courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her work is often cross-disciplinary, collaborating with colleagues from engineering, education, psychology, and industrial design.

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Kathryn Jablokow Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Kathryn Jablokow is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Design at Penn State University. A graduate of Ohio State University (Ph.D., Electrical Engineering), Dr. Jablokow’s teaching and research interests include problem solving, invention, and creativity in science and engineering, as well as robotics and computational dynamics. In addition to her membership in ASEE, she is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Fellow of ASME. Dr. Jablokow is the architect of a unique 4-course module focused on creativity and problem solving leadership and is currently developing a new methodology for cognition-based design. She is one of three instructors for Penn State’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Creativity, Innovation, and Change, and she is the founding director of the Problem Solving Research Group, whose 50+ collaborating members include faculty and students from several universities, as well as industrial representatives, military leaders, and corporate consultants.

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Seda Yilmaz Iowa State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7446-3380

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Dr. Yilmaz is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Design who teaches design studios and lecture courses on developing creativity and research skills. For her research, she investigates design approaches and ideation, ethnography in design, foundations of innovation, creative processes, and cross-disciplinary design team dynamics. She is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. She also serves on review, advisory, and scientific boards of various journals and conferences. Her current research focuses on identifying impacts of different factors on ideation of designers and engineers (funded by NSF), developing instructional materials for 77 cards (funded by NSF), and designing innovation workshops for students without design or engineering background and teaching them design thinking methodologies (funded by Procter and Gamble). She received her PhD degree in Design Science in 2010 from University of Michigan. She is also a faculty in Human Computer Interaction Graduate Program and a research faculty in Center for e-Design.

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Meisha Nicole Berg Iowa State University

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Meisha Rosenberg is a 2nd year PhD student in Mechanical Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction at Iowa State University. She received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University in 2011. Her research interests include the use of Immersive Computing Technologies in collaborative design work among engineers and design students. She is currently working with Dr. Seda Yilmaz to investigate the role that cognitive style plays in a designer's ideation process and how tools can be used effectively to modify the ideation process for a variety of circumstances.

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Abstract

Using Adaption-Innovation Theory to Build a Framework for Constructing Design Problem StatementsDesign problems are central to the work of practicing engineers and thus the education ofengineering students. As engineering instructors work to improve student design skills, oneoverlooked aspect could be in the way they frame and present design problems in their courses.Word choices, decisions about relevant information to include, and stated goals within thesedesign problem statements are likely to impact students’ approaches to generating solutions, aswell as the design solutions themselves.In our work, we developed a framework to assist in the development and framing of designproblem statements to encourage specific sorts of ideation behaviors. We developed the basis forthis framework by connecting literature on the structure of design problems, idea generation, taskframing, and cognitive styles. We utilized Kirton’s Adaption-Innovation (A-I) theory tounderstand the range of cognitive styles, and to create different design problem framings basedon this theory. A-I theory describes the different ways people respond to and manage structure,including the conceptual structures involved in idea generation. More adaptive individuals prefermore structure, with more of that structure consensually agreed, while more innovativeindividuals prefer less structure and are less concerned about consensus.Our review of the research suggested particular modifications in the framing of design problemstatements that would be likely to impact individuals’ natural approaches to ideation. Thosemodifications focused on varying the constraints and criteria specified in the problem. Designproblems that encourage adaptive ideation behaviors include highly specified constraints, alongwith criteria to encourage solutions that build on already existing solutions to the same or similarproblems. In contrast, design problems that encourage innovative ideation behaviors includecriteria to encourage solutions that are radically different from existing solutions and are notbound by particular constraints. We illustrate these variations by presenting a set of five designproblems, with three different versions of each problem statement, guided by the developedframework: (1) a neutrally framed version; (2) a more adaptively framed version; and (3) a moreinnovatively framed version. Additionally, we present three cases of student generated solutions,one case for each version of one of the design problems.We propose this framework as a guide for the development of design problem statements in theworkplace, instruction, and research settings. The framework can assist practicing engineers andengineering instructors to be more explicit about their own goals for the sorts of design solutionsthey aim to obtain.

Silk, E. M., & Daly, S. R., & Jablokow, K., & Yilmaz, S., & Berg, M. N. (2014, June), The Design Problem Framework: Using Adaption-Innovation Theory to Construct Design Problem Statements Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23127

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