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WIP: Curricular Renewal for System Engineering: Project-based Capstone Framework to Hatch Autonomy and Creativity

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Works in Progress II

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Chao-Yang Cheng National Chiao Tung University Orcid 16x16

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Chao-Yang Cheng is a postdoctoral researcher from the Institute of Electrical and Control Engineering of National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. He majored in educational psychology and minor in multi-level linear models. Flow theory, daily reconstruction method, classroom experience, immediate process feedback module, capstone teaching and learning, and engineering education are central to his area of study.

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Yu-Lun Huang National Chiao Tung University

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Yu-Lun Huang received the B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science and information engineering from the National Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan, in 1995 and 2001, respectively.
Currently, she is Associate Dean of Office of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor in Department of Electrical and Control Engineering, National Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan. Her research interests include system engineering education, wireless security, secure testbed design, embedded software, embedded operating systems, network security, secure payment systems, VoIP, and QoS.

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Bing-Fei Wu National Chiao Tung University


Yon-Ping Chen National Chiao Tung university

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Yon-Ping Chen received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from National Taiwan University, Taiwan, in 1981, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington, USA, in 1986 and
1989, respectively. He is currently a Distinguished
Professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering,
National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan.
His researches include control, image signal processing,
and intelligent system design.

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Sunny S. J. Lin National Chiao Tung University

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Dr. Sunny S. J. Lin is Educational Psychology Professor at National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. Her first research interest is in applying cognitive theories of learning and motivation to derive design principles of e-learning function and multimedia program using self-report, response pattern analysis, experience sampling and eye tracking techniques, for which she received outstanding research award from National Science Council Taiwan in 2005. Her second research interest is in exploring longitudinal effects of problematic Internet use on adolescent wellbeing involving diversified undergraduates and high school students.

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Because university engineering education in Taiwan has overly emphasized on basic knowledge and routine skills, a call for improvement has been launched. In a technology university in Taiwan, a curricular renewal responded to this request by transforming three sequential courses in the division of System Engineering in Electronic Engineering. Namely, they are beginner-level “Control System and Lab”, intermediate-level “Dynamic Control System”, and advanced-level “Embedded Operating Systems.” Subsequently, between 2013 and 2016, a pioneer curriculum transformation program was implemented. The three EE teachers responsible for these courses attended monthly self-improvement meetings over three years to co-construct open courseware and project-based learning for the promotion of students’ learning motivation and creative thinking, while a group of educational psychology scholars (ED-Psy team) supported the curriculum renewal, pedagogical upgrade, and outcome evaluation. The critical features of these renewed courses included significant project-based experiences where collaborative creative thinking, creative product design, and student autonomy were particularly facilitated.

This study concerns (1) the quality of the learning experience in the renewed courses and (2) the creativity level of students’ PBL products. First, to reveal the students’ learning experiences, we recruited 271 participants to make a comparison between SE students (n = 40) from three courses and non-SE students (n = 231). The ED-Psy team decided to adopt three evaluation methods for examining to what degree the goals (autonomy and creativity) were being achieved, which included a self-report investigation (Day Reconstruction Method, DRM), a person-centered analysis (Latent Profile Analysis, LPA), and product assessment by an expert panel (Consensual Assessment Technique, CAT). The DRM collected repeated data to measure activity-specific experiences of the preceding day, for all activities that occurred in that day.

Second, the creativity levels of project products were evaluated using the Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT) by 10 SE experts. The scoring rubric included seven items on a ten-point scale to evaluate the products’ originality, professional quality, and elaboration. The results showed that most products were good in the dimension of professional quality and lower in dimensions of creativity (originality and elaboration). The students’ products, which were designed in the course “Embedded Operating Systems”, were evaluated as being the highest in the level of creativity.

Cheng, C., & Huang, Y., & Wu, B., & Chen, Y., & Lin, S. S. J. (2018, June), WIP: Curricular Renewal for System Engineering: Project-based Capstone Framework to Hatch Autonomy and Creativity Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31247

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