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The Educative Design Problem Framework: Relevance, Sociotechnical Complexity, Accessibility, and Nondeterministic High Ceilings

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Design Methodologies 1

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37852

Download Count

46

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Paper Authors

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Vanessa Svihla University of New Mexico Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4342-6178

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Dr. Vanessa Svihla is a learning scientist and associate professor at the University of New Mexico in the Organization, Information and Learning Sciences program and in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department. She served as Co-PI on an NSF RET Grant and a USDA NIFA grant, and is currently co-PI on three NSF-funded projects in engineering and computer science education, including a Revolutionizing Engineering Departments project. She was selected as a National Academy of Education / Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow and a 2018 NSF CAREER awardee in engineering education research. Dr. Svihla studies learning in authentic, real world conditions, specifically on design learning, in which she studies engineers designing devices, scientists designing investigations, teachers designing learning experiences and students designing to learn.

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Madalyn Wilson-Fetrow University of New Mexico

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Yan Chen University of New Mexico Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-9479-7377

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Yan Chen is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Her research interests focus on computer supported collaborative learning, learning sciences, online learning and teaching, and educational equity for multicultural/multiethnic education.

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Eva Chi University of New Mexico Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7448-9943

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Eva Chi is a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at the University of New Mexico. The research in her lab is focused on understanding the dynamics and structures of macromolecular assemblies including proteins, polymers, and lipid membranes. Undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars are trained in a multidisciplinary environment, utilizing modern methodologies to address important problems at the interface between chemistry, physics, engineering, and biology preparing the trainees for careers in academe, national laboratories, and industry. In addition to research, she devotes significant time developing and implementing effective pedagogical approaches in her teaching of undergraduate courses to train engineers who are critical thinkers, problem solvers, and able to understand the societal contexts in which they are working to addressing the grand challenges of the 21st century.

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Abhaya K. Datye University of New Mexico

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Abhaya Datye has been on the faculty at the University of New Mexico after receiving his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan in 1984. He is presently Chair of the department and Distinguished Regents Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering. From 1994-2014 he served as Director of the Center for Microengineered Materials, a strategic research center at UNM that reports to the Vice President for Research. He is also the founding director of the graduate interdisciplinary program in Nanoscience and Microsystems, the first program at UNM to span three schools and colleges and the Anderson Business School. He served as director of this program from 2007 – 2014. His research interests are in heterogeneous catalysis, materials characterization and nanomaterials synthesis. His research group has pioneered the development of electron microscopy tools for the study of catalysts.

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Sang M. Han University of New Mexico

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Dr. Han is a Regents Professor in the Departments of Chemical & Biological Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico. He earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his B.S. in chemical engineering with honors from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Han has over 25 years of experience in electronic and photonic materials engineering and fabrication. His current research topics include (1) writable/rewritable quantum structures by stress patterning; (2) low-cost, crack-tolerant, advanced metallization for solar cell durability; (3) thin film processing and nanoscale surface corrugation for enhanced light trapping for photovoltaic devices; and (4) microsphere-based manufacturable coatings for radiative cooling. He has close to 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals and over 200 invited/contributed papers at academic institutions, national laboratories, and conferences. He received a UNM Junior Faculty Research Excellence Award in 2005 and an NSF Career Award in 2001. He is a recipient of STC.UNM Innovation Award consecutively from 2009 to 2018, and he was elected as the 2018 STC.UNM Innovation Fellow. Dr. Han holds 17 UNM-affiliated U.S. patents and 6 pending U.S. and PCT patent applications. He currently serves as the Chief Technical Officer of Osazda Energy LLC, a startup company based on his intellectual property generated at UNM. Prior to his entrepreneurial venture, Dr. Han served as the main campus faculty member of the STC.UNM Board of Directors from 2015 to 2016.

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Jamie Gomez University of New Mexico

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Jamie Gomez, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer III in the department of Chemical & Biological Engineering (CBE) at the University of New Mexico. She is a co- principal investigator for the following National Science Foundation (NSF) funded projects: Professional Formation of Engineers: Research Initiation in Engineering Formation (PFE: RIEF) - Using Digital Badging and Design Challenge Modules to Develop Professional Identity; Professional Formation of Engineers: REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (IUSE PFE\RED) - Formation of Accomplished Chemical Engineers for Transforming Society. She is a member of the CBE department’s ABET and Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, as well as faculty advisor for several student societies. She is the instructor of several courses in the CBE curriculum including the Material and Energy Balances, junior laboratories and Capstone Design courses. She is associated with several professional organizations including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and American Society of Chemical Engineering Education (ASEE) where she adopts and contributes to innovative pedagogical methods aimed at improving student learning and retention.

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Andrew Olewnik University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

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Andrew Olewnik is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at the University at Buffalo. His research includes undergraduate engineering education with focus on engineering design process and methods, ill-structured problem solving, problem typology, and experiential and informal learning environments in the professional formation of engineers. He is interested in the development of tools, methods, and strategies that aid in engineering problem definition, and problem solving discourse among students, faculty, and practitioners. Dr. Olewnik is also the Director of Experiential Learning for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

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Abstract

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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