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Who Listens To Whom? A Citations Analysis Of Recent Papers On Engineering Design Education

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Innovation in Design Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1316.1 - 7.1316.9

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Paper Authors

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Robin Adams

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Jennifer Turns

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Main Menu Session 2325

Who Listens to Whom? A Citations Analysis of Recent Papers on Engineering Design Education

Josh Martin, Robin Adams, and Jennifer Turns Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching Department of Technical Communication University of Washington


Design is a central component of engineering education and practice. Students may experience design as early as their freshman year, and most students conclude their baccalaureate education with a capstone design experience. In addition, there are many studies in engineering design that can be of value to design educators. In this paper we describe the methods, data, and results of a citation* analysis of journal and conference articles concerning design education. Our goal was to determine the extent to which design educators bring outside knowledge into the classroom or reference design research. The citation analysis was conducted by selecting articles with “design” in the title from selected engineering journals and conferences from the past five years. Bibliographic entries from each of the resulting 274 articles were entered into a database, and this information was imported into a spreadsheet to analyze the number and kinds of citations. For example, the information could be catalogued and sorted by type (e.g., journal, book, conference), specific sources (e.g., Journal of Engineering Education), and topics (e.g., book titles that contained “assessment”). From this research we discovered that most of the citations were publications by design educators, not design researchers. In particular, most of the journals, conferences, and periodicals were from the engineering design education community. In comparison, references to design research or education research sources, such as AERA and Research in Engineering Design, were rare. We are currently using this research to develop a workshop for introducing design educators to design research and illustrating how design research may be used in the classroom. This research may also be used to develop an awareness of communication patterns within the design education community, describe the current state of design education, and identify areas of improvement in design education. *The words “citation” and “reference” are used interchangeably throughout the document.


Engineering design education is vital to the successful instruction of future engineers. It has recently become apparent that graduates are deficient in vital areas of design, thus affecting the engineering industry as a whole. At the Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching (CELT) we know that research exists that could be of value to educators. We have envisioned a workshop that would bring educators and researchers together where educators’ questions about effective design teaching could be answered and researchers’ findings could be utilized. To effectively design this workshop, it was necessary to determine what engineering design Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

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Adams, R., & Turns, J. (2002, June), Who Listens To Whom? A Citations Analysis Of Recent Papers On Engineering Design Education Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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