Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Design in Engineering Education
Engineering continues to seek to teach our students more complex skills that will enhance their careers. This paper presents first steps in developing an instrument to measure a students’ mental model (understanding of how a device works). The ability to think holistically and effectively pull from an interdisciplinary knowledge base is critical for engineers and companies to design effective systems. Functional modeling is believed to assist engineers in developing systems thinking skills and in porting their knowledge of one system to a new device with similar functionality. In this study, students were asked to draw basic component layouts for two functionally analogous devices: a home hair dryer and a car radiator. Students then learned functional modeling and were again asked to draw component layouts for these two devices. Results show two important facts critical to future work. First, students are more familiar with the functionality of a hair dryer, but not of a device with similar functionality, a car radiator. Second, simply learning the basics of functional modeling was not enough to assist students in leveraging their knowledge of hair dryers to understand a car radiator.
Nelson, J. T., & Linsey, J. S., & Nagel, R. L., & Bohm, M. R. (2018, June), The Impact of Functional Modeling on Engineering Students' Mental Models Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31108
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