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Does Using Different Concept Generation Techniques Change the Design Cognition of Design Students?

[+] Author Affiliations
John S. Gero, Hao Jiang

George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Christopher B. Williams

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. DETC2012-71165, pp. 625-632; 8 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 9th International Conference on Design Education; 24th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4506-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


This paper presents the preliminary results of protocol studies to determine the effects of teaching different concept generation techniques to engineering students on their design cognition.

Twenty-two mechanical engineering students were given instructions in the three concept generation techniques of brainstorming, morphological analysis and TRIZ as part of their undergraduate education at a large land grant university. After the instruction for each concept generation technique, the students were formed into the same teams of two. Each team was given the same set of three design tasks, one for each concept generation technique, while their verbalization and gestures were videoed as they designed for a period of 45 minutes.

Students’ design cognition was examined by protocol analysis using the FBS ontologically-based coding scheme. Preliminary results indicate that statistically significant differences in students’ design cognition were observed when using different concept generation techniques.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Design , Students



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