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Utility Value of an Introductory Engineering Design Course: An evaluation among Course Participants

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Design Across the Curriculum 2

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Lilianny Virguez University of Florida

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Lilianny Virguez is a Lecturer at the Engineering Education Department at University of Florida. She holds a Masters' degree in Management Systems Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. She has work experience in telecommunications engineering and has taught undergraduate engineering courses such as engineering design at the first-year level and elements of electrical engineering. Her research interests include motivation to succeed in engineering with a focus on first-year students.

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Pamela L. Dickrell University of Florida

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Dr. Pamela Dickrell is the Associate Chair of Academics of the Department of Engineering Education, in the UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. Her research focuses on effective teaching methods and hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate student engagement and retention. Dr. Dickrell received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida, specializing in Tribology.

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Andrea Goncher University of Florida

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Andrea Goncher is a Lecturer in Engineering Education at the University of Florida. She earned her PhD in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech and focuses on teaching and learning projects in human centred design. Her research interests include text analytics, international higher education, and engineering design education.

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Evidence of measureable progress towards our educational goals is a key aspect in engineering education. Gathering relevant information about what a program or course aims to do is crucial in improving the effectiveness of pedagogical approaches and course content offered in the engineering curriculum. The purpose of this study is to provide an assessment of the implementation of an engineering design class by exploring how effective this course is meeting its anticipated goals. The engineering design class is a multidisciplinary course focused on the human-centered design process. The course was launched during summer 2018 and it was created for first-year engineering students to promote early engineering design experience. In this class, students are exposed to solid modeling software, introductory programming, Arduino based hardware platform, and 3D printing as maker tools for engineering prototyping. Students work in teams with the opportunity to practice some project management, written and oral communication, and other professional skills while building a societal-based design prototype. The intended course goals include: 1) Learn techniques to solve open-ended engineering challenges; 2)Promote a culture of making by introducing solid modeling, programming, sensors, data acquisition, 3D printing, and other maker tools; 3) Build teamwork and cooperative learning skills through participation in multidisciplinary teams and active engineering project management; 4) Build professional skills in background research & written, pictorial, and oral communication methods, among others. This study presents a short evaluation of these goals using the Utility value component of Eccles’ Expectancy Value framework (1983). Utility value refers to how useful the task is to a person’s future (e.g., undertaking a design course in order to become an engineer). We will employ data collected from former course participants in the Summer 2018, Fall 2018, and Spring 2019, i.e. 1 year after course participation. A survey will be distributed by e-mail including Likert-type scale statements and open-ended questions on both course goals and what was perceived as useful about the course. Results of this study have the potential to inform interested stakeholders about the benefits associated to the adoption of this type of courses in the engineering curriculum.

Virguez, L., & Dickrell, P. L., & Goncher, A. (2020, June), Utility Value of an Introductory Engineering Design Course: An evaluation among Course Participants Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35479

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