Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
NSF Grantees Poster Session
Research has shown that engineering students are graduating without all of the skills that they need to succeed in professional engineering practice. While undergraduate engineering programs emphasize technical design and analysis, they generally do not adequately teach or discuss marketability, and evidence suggests that engineering students are graduating without a sufficient grasp of the bigger picture of design. This is reinforced by the available tools for use in engineering education, which are highly focused on ensuring technical feasibility, and a corresponding lack of tools for engineers to explore other design needs. At the same time, research in engineering design has resulted in new market-driven design techniques, which provide guidance for design practitioners regarding how to develop products that are both technically sound and marketable. However, this concept of market-driven design has not yet been widely integrated into engineering curricula. By exploring how current students conceptualize design, this study seeks to contribute to a more balanced perspective on design in undergraduate engineers that accounts for both technical feasibility and market needs. In this paper, we examine third-year Engineering Management students’ mental models of design prior to and after a project-based design course that emphasizes market-driven design concepts and tools. The fundamental research questions are: (1) To what extent do undergraduate engineering students' initial conceptions of design account for the market context, such as competition and consumer considerations? (2) In what ways do these design conceptions change after introducing market-driven design techniques and tools in a design course? Using concept mapping exercises (pre- and post-course), open-ended reflection assignments, surveys, and an assessment of project performance, we reveal how students conceive of and learn about the market context as an integral part of the design process. This contributes to insights regarding how students conceptually balance the technical and non-technical elements of design, as well as evidence regarding the value of a constructivism-based educational approach to advancing student understanding of market-driven design. The results provide a foundational understanding and recommendations regarding holistic design education for engineers in order to reduce the school to work transition gap.
Hoffenson, S., & Pitterson, N. P., & Driscoll, J. R. (2020, June), Understanding Student Conceptualizations of the Market Context in Engineering Design Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35426
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