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Work in Progress: Measuring the Effects of a Making-Based Senior Design Project in Engineering Technology

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

ETD Capstone Projects

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Kimberly Grau Talley P.E. Texas State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Kimberly G. Talley is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, Senior Research Fellow and Maker Space Co-Director for the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research at Texas State University, and a licensed Professional Engineer. She received her Ph.D. and M.S.E. from the University of Texas at Austin in Structural Engineering. Her undergraduate degrees in History and in Construction Engineering and Management are from North Carolina State University. Dr. Talley teaches courses in the Construction Science and Management Program, and her research focus is in student engagement and retention in engineering and engineering technology. Contact:

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Farhad Ameri Texas State University

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In a pilot corresponding with the founding of the university-wide maker space at Texas State University, the Engineering Technology senior design class completed a making-based senior design project. This pilot semester also represented the first semester of a formal senior design experience for Engineering Technology majors at Texas State University rather than culminating their college experience with a capstone-style industrial internship. This change was the result of feedback from the department’s Industry Advisory Board, which requested that the internship program to be converted to an early, cornerstone-style experience for the students. The objective of the new senior design course was to provide students with the working knowledge of systematic product development process covering all major design phases including product planning, conceptual design, embodiment design, and detail design. One major distinctive feature of the new senior design course is its multidisciplinary nature in the sense that students within design teams come from different Engineering Technology concentrations, namely, mechanical, manufacturing, electrical, and environmental engineering technology. Interdisciplinary team work is increasingly becoming prevalent in today’s global market and the new senior design course is intended to prepare students for working in environments where crossing traditional professional boundaries is a necessity for promoting innovation and critical thinking.

For the study, the students in the course took the Engineering Design Self-Efficacy measurement tool at the start of their senior design project and then again at the end of the semester to try to measure the change in their self-efficacy, or their belief in their own ability to conduct engineering design, over the course of the senior project class. The construction of the prototypes for the senior design project occurred in Bobcat Made, the new maker space. This paper will describe the structure of this new senior design course, the project completed during this first semester, and the results of the pre- versus post-project surveys. In future semesters the projects available to the students in this senior design course will be a mixture of ones requiring use of the maker space and those where it would be optional to use in order to assess to what extent does the use of a maker space while completing the senior design project have on students’ Engineering Design Self-Efficacy.

Talley, K. G., & Ameri, F. (2017, June), Work in Progress: Measuring the Effects of a Making-Based Senior Design Project in Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29170

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