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“Where I’ve Been, Where I Am, Where I’m Going”: Exploring Design Awareness through an Undergraduate Student Seminar

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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 Methodologies 1

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Aaron Justin Joya Georgetown University

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Aaron Joya is a research assistant at the Center for Engineering Learning And Teaching (CELT) at the University of Washington. He is currently a graduate student within the Learning Design and Technology program at Georgetown University.

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Khadijah Jordan

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Miranda Nicole Washington

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Grace Barar University of Washington

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Alison Gray University of Washington

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Rylie Sweem


Cynthia J. Atman University of Washington

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Cynthia J. Atman is the founding director of the Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching (CELT), a professor in Human Centered Design & Engineering, and the inaugural holder of the Mitchell T. & Lella Blanche Bowie Endowed Chair at the University of Washington. Dr. Atman is co-director of the newly-formed Consortium for Promoting Reflection in Engineering Education (CPREE), funded by a $4.4 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. She was director of the NSF-funded Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE), a national research center that was funded from 2003-2010. Dr. Atman is the author or co-author on over 115 archival publications. She has been invited to give many keynote addresses, including a Distinguished Lecture at the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) 2014 Annual Conference.

Dr. Atman joined the UW in 1998 after seven years on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on engineering education pedagogy, engineering design learning, assessing the consideration of context in engineering design, and understanding undergraduate engineering student pathways. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the ASEE. She was the recipient of the 2002 ASEE Chester F. Carlson Award for Innovation in Engineering Education and the 2009 UW David B. Thorud Leadership Award. Dr. Atman holds a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

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How does an individual keep track of where they are in a design process and know whether they are on the right course or if they should change directions? How does a designer realize that they do not understand enough about the problem they are solving and decide to gather more information? As a designer is in the midst of a design process, it is optimal if they can be aware of where they are in the design process so that they can make informed decisions about the next steps. In this work-in-process paper, we describe a seminar with five undergraduate students where they explore the concept of design awareness and brainstorm ideas for a tool to help them stay aware of the design process even while they are deeply engaged in it.

Joya, A. J., & Jordan, K., & Washington, M. N., & Barar, G., & Gray, A., & Sweem, R., & Atman, C. J. (2020, June), “Where I’ve Been, Where I Am, Where I’m Going”: Exploring Design Awareness through an Undergraduate Student Seminar Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--33973

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