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The Impact of Teaming and Cognitive Style on Student Perceptions of Design Ideation Outcomes

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Best of DEED

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1548.1 - 26.1548.22



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Paper Authors


Kathryn W. Jablokow Pennsylvania State University, Great Valley

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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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Wesley Teerlink Penn State University


Seda Yilmaz Iowa State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Yilmaz is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Design. She teaches design studios and lecture courses on developing creativity and research skills. Her current research focuses on identifying impacts of different factors on ideation of designers and engineers, developing instructional materials for design ideation, and foundations of innovation. She often conducts workshops on design thinking to a diverse range of groups including student and professional engineers and faculty member from different universities. 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 the ISU Site Director for Center for e-Design.

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Shanna R. Daly University of Michigan Orcid 16x16

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Eli M. Silk Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Orcid 16x16

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The Impact of Teaming and Problem Solving Style on Student Perceptions of Design Ideation OutcomesThe importance of idea generation (ideation) within the engineering design process is recognizedin academic and industrial settings alike. The collaborative nature of engineering design is alsowell-established, with individuals of differing personalities, technical backgrounds, and levels ofexperience coming together to meet shared design objectives. Engineering educators routinelyput students in design teams to complete both simple and complex projects, with the assessmentof students’ individual differences becoming increasingly common. Our goal for this study wasto explore the extent to which teaming and problem solving style, respectively, impact theperceptions of students about the creativity, diversity, and elaborateness of their ideas, as well astheir perceptions of the relative difficulty of generating ideas alone or with another person.To this end, a study was conducted with 122 students participating in a variety of engineering-related programs across three Midwestern universities. Student academic level ranged from highschool students participating in a pre-engineering program to undergraduate and graduatestudents enrolled in engineering and design degree programs. All students engaged in twoseparate ideation sessions (one individually and one in pairs) and completed a problem solvingstyle inventory (KAI®). For the first session, students were asked to generate solutions to adesign problem individually using words and sketches. After this first ideation exercise, studentswere asked to generate ideas for a new problem in a two-person team, recording their ideasseparately on their own individual worksheets. For each idea generated in the paired session,students were also asked to indicate which person of the two first verbalized each idea, as well ashow much each person contributed to the idea’s generation and development.Following each ideation session, students completed a short reflection survey (individually) toprovide insights into how they perceived their own ideation during the session. In particular, thestudents were asked to evaluate how creative, diverse, and elaborate their ideas were, along withthe level of difficulty they experienced generating ideas under each condition. These studentperceptions were analyzed for differences between the individual and paired ideation sessions. Inaddition, correlations between the students’ perceptions (from both sessions) and their individualproblem solving styles were examined to determine whether perceptions differed between themore adaptive (more structured) and the more innovative (less structured) problem solvers, asmeasured by KAI®. Preliminary results suggest that student perceptions of both the diversity andthe elaborateness of their ideas are influenced by teaming and/or problem solving style. Thispaper will report on the details of our experimental procedure, the results of our analyses, and theimplications of these results in the engineering classroom.

Jablokow, K. W., & Teerlink, W., & Yilmaz, S., & Daly, S. R., & Silk, E. M. (2015, June), The Impact of Teaming and Cognitive Style on Student Perceptions of Design Ideation Outcomes Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24885

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