June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Design in Engineering Education
This work in progress paper describes a funded National Science Foundation (NSF) project that measures and compares the design thinking of teams of engineering students and teams of expert engineers through a study of their cognitive processes while designing. Tools and processes developed in previously funded NSF projects provide a uniform basis for comparing students and experts that is independent of the educational and experiential background of the participants and provide a robust empirical evidence-based grounding for its conclusions.
Understanding the difference between developing learners and an expert target performance is essential to the identification of appropriate learning experiences to move learners along the trajectory to becoming experts. This project addresses the gap in knowledge and provides statistically significant evidence using a controlled study of cohorts of teams of students from two universities with different diversity profiles and of teams of engineering design experts, to quantitatively measure their respective cognition while designing. It utilizes the protocol analysis method, where videos are transcribed, segmented, coded, and analyzed to produce the base data. The basis for coding and analysis is the FBS Ontology, which is a recognized model used in research.
These coded protocols provide a very rich data source from which the design cognition can be determined and understood. The analytical techniques are drawn from design theory, cognitive science and statistical modeling. These are related to design behavior and designing style and are used to compare student and expert design cognition. The results will inform leaders in engineering education and developers of instructional materials and curricula, as well as teachers and designers planning classroom strategies, of initiatives in formal engineering education. The development of educational strategies will be explored and developed through a workshop of engineering design educators to inform and improve engineering education models while expanding our understanding of how students evolve to acquire expert-level design skills.
Becker, K. H., & Pourmohamadi, M., & Abdellahi, S., & de Souza Almeida, L. M., & Luo, Y., & Gero, J. S. (2017, June), Work in Progress: Quantifying the Differences Between Professional Expert Engineers and Engineering Students Designing: Empirical Foundations for Improved Engineering Education Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29175
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