July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Design in Engineering Education
Research suggests expert designers frame problems more broadly than novices, but authentic context may make a design problem too difficult. Yet decontextualized problems provide little opportunity for students to learn how to direct their framing and solving of problems. This paper considers characteristics of design problems that support students to develop design skills as they learn and apply concepts to the framing and solving of design problems. We selected and analyzed (un)successful design problems used over four years of iterations in an undergraduate chemical engineering program. We analyze salient features that made the design problems particularly educative and generalize an Educative Design Problem Framework, finding that such problems are relevant to students, have sociotechnical complexity, and are accessible yet require accurate application of technical content to solutions that are not deterministic—in other words, they are low-bar entry and high ceiling. Faculty can use this framework to evaluate and improve design problems in their teaching.
Svihla, V., & Wilson-Fetrow, M., & Chen, Y., & Chi, E., & Datye, A. K., & Han, S. M., & Gomez, J., & Olewnik, A. (2021, July), The Educative Design Problem Framework: Relevance, Sociotechnical Complexity, Accessibility, and Nondeterministic High Ceilings Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37852
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