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The Importance of Doing rather than Discussing: How Curricular Changes Affected Student Design-task Prioritization in a Hands-on Design Project

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

DEED Postcard Session 1

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28980

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28980

Download Count

154

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Paper Authors

biography

Christopher R. Saulnier Massachusetts Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1912-3372

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Chris Saulnier is a PhD Candidate at MIT developing, teaching, and researching innovative approaches to design education. He is particularly interested in constructionist project-based design experiences for undergraduate engineering students. He has a background in leadership development and experiential education, having worked as an Instructor with Outward Bound Canada, and now brings that hands-on approach to his design education work. Originally trained as a computer engineer, Chris has a master’s degree in technology and policy and now spends most of his time masquerading as a mechanical engineer.
Chris is a research assistant with the MIT-SUTD Collaboration Office, Cambridge, MA (e-mail: saulnier@mit.edu).

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John G. Brisson II Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Abstract

The Global Leadership Program (GLP) is a component of collaboration between Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). During GLP, a design-based wilderness education class addresses the development of design thinking, engineering science, and leadership skills; it consists of project-based classroom and shop activities on campus, followed by a multiday wilderness expedition. After the 2015 class, students tended to place increased importance on tasks related to immediate action such as building. At the same time, decreased importance was placed on exploratory tasks such as understanding the problem and iterating. The 2016 curriculum was modified with these findings in mind, increasing the time spent discussing exploratory aspects of the design process and increasing the number of opportunities for students to iterate on designs. Spending more time just discussing a specific design task (understanding the problem) was not associated with students continuing to emphasize its importance. However, we found that spending time performing a specific design task (iterating) was associated with students continuing to emphasize its importance.

Saulnier, C. R., & Brisson, J. G. (2017, June), The Importance of Doing rather than Discussing: How Curricular Changes Affected Student Design-task Prioritization in a Hands-on Design Project Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28980

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