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Validation Of Approaches To Assess Design Knowledge

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Understanding Engineering Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1442.1 - 10.1442.13



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Paper Authors

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Zsuzsanna Szabo

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Reid Bailey

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Validation of Approaches to Assess Design Process Knowledge

Reid Bailey and Zsuzsanna Szabo College of Engineering/Educational Psychology University of Arizona

ABSTRACT Rigorously assessing students’ design process knowledge is essential for understanding how to best create learning environments to facilitate the development of such knowledge. Such assessment is also quite difficult and hence, no assessment tool capable of measuring design process knowledge of every student in a large college exists. Faculty from both the Colleges of Engineering and Education at the University of Arizona are developing such a tool. In this paper, results from the first year of implementation of the design process knowledge assessment tool are presented. The goal of the first year was to collect and analyze data that can be used to validate and improve the tool. Results from such analysis, as well as an overview of the tool itself, are presented in this paper.

MOTIVATION A core learning objective for engineering students from all disciplines at all universities is to learn about engineering design. To this end, capstone design courses populate nearly all curricula while design courses in freshman and other years are becoming more commonplace. Despite the ubiquity of engineering design in curricula, little if anything is known about what students learn in engineering design courses. The authors seek to develop a tool to remedy this lack of knowledge. In this paper, results from the first round of validation of this tool are presented.

CONTEXT A process of engineering design is subjective in that there are no mathematical proofs or conclusive experiments to prove that one process is the process. That said, some common elements of engineering design have emerged over the course of centuries of engineering. These common elements are seen today throughout the disciplines of engineering in education and in practice (albeit in varying forms). Engineers 1) clarify and articulate a need, 2) create a design to meet that need, and 3) implement that design. These three phases of design are typically iterated through several times before a design is finalized. This process is shown in Figure 1.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference &Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Szabo, Z., & Bailey, R. (2005, June), Validation Of Approaches To Assess Design Knowledge Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14416

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