New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Knowledge of the engineering design process is integral to all engineering fields, and explicit didactic approaches exist for instilling students with this knowledge. However, one can also use immersive, hands-on design-build activities to implicitly deliver this knowledge.
We sought to answer two questions: (1) can a course that immerses students in iterative physical construction of student designed devices rather than classroom activities improve knowledge of the engineering design process, and (2) does a learning environment that also emphasizes academic advising offer additional benefit in bolstering this knowledge?
Paired sections of an introductory engineering design course were studied, each with the same instructor over two years, to determine if an intensive design-build learning environment affects students’ knowledge of the engineering design process. Students in both sections of the course identified a problem to solve, considered several possible device-based solutions to the problem, built one functional mockup, analyzed its performance, and built an alpha-prototype of their device. Documentation included an online laboratory notebook, and an invention disclosure. While one section of the course emphasized team meetings and brainstorming during the build phase (control), the other section gave an equivalent time to in-class discussion and advising.
A test of engineering design process knowledge (Bailey and Szabo, 2005) was delivered twice – once at the beginning and once at the end of the fall 2014 semester. Surprisingly the instrument showed an overall improvement only in the documentation aspect of engineering design process knowledge over the course of the semester; the control sections but not the advising sections also showed gains in knowledge of the design process layout, and total design process knowledge. Among the possible explanations for this are (a) failure of the immersive experiences to covertly deliver process knowledge, (b) that the instrument is not an accurate measurement of process knowledge, (c) that the instrument is overly sensitive to context, and (d) that the additional priming before the first measurement biases the instrument. Future work will be directed to developing an alternative measure of engineering design process knowledge.
Guilford, W. H., & Blazier, A. S., & Becker, A. B. (2016, June), Work in Progress: The Effect of Immersive Design-Build Experiences on Knowledge of the Engineering Design Process Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27038
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