We are currently in the process of evaluating instructional approaches, content, and student experiences and outcomes in E4. Consistent with this work, we have recently developed a mixed-methods, instrument suite to (1) assess students implementation of design activities within authentic design projects, (2) evaluate final deliverable quality, (3) survey students’ engineering design abilities, and (4) record students’ evolving engineering identity and sense of belonging in the engineering community. This work applies action research in a shared effort to transform student learning in this course. The overarching learning outcome in E4 is to implement and practice a design process to identify, frame, and solve open-ended and ill-structured engineering problems. This outcome emphasizes the inherent complexity, ambiguity, and nonlinearity of the design process. Historical observations and a wide body of literature indicate that students proceed through the design process in a linear fashion and don’t spend enough time implementing design activities to advance their work and learning.
To address this mismatch, we are deploying a prototype for quantifying students’ engagement with design activities. We aim to support students in a process of reflection on their path through the design process while considering their design activities, team dynamics, and identity as engineers and designers. To this end, we seek to create a compelling and dynamic visualization of student design process data (collected from the design diary) and a live dashboard through which students can, at any time, view their own activities and those of their team. A future goal is to apply this dashboard and these tools beyond E4 and across the engineering curriculum to improve instruction across our program. This work is done in service to equipping engineering graduates with expertise, fluency, and with the capacity to lead teams in engineering and design.
Check out some recent work: https://peer.asee.org/37351
As a member of this group, you would work on projects that seek to create data upon which students and instructors can reflect and respond. For students, this has the potential to enhance engineering knowledge, abilities, identity, and belonging. For students and instructors, this data has potential to elucidate areas of inequity and challenges the community to respond through actions and mindsets.