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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Problem Formulation and Ideation Skills Learned Throughout an Engineering Design Course

[+] Author Affiliations
Mahmoud Dinar, Yong-Seok Park, Jami J. Shah

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Paper No. DETC2015-46542, pp. V003T04A007; 9 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 17th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 12th International Conference on Design Education; 8th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5710-6
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Conventional syllabi of engineering design courses either do not pay enough attention to conceptual design skills, or they lack an objective assessment of those skills to show students’ progress. During a semester-long course of advanced engineering product design, we assigned three major design projects to twenty five students. For each project we asked them to formulate the problems in the Problem Formulator web-based testbed. In addition, we collected sketches for all three design problems, feasibility analyses for the last two, and a working prototype for the final project. We report the students’ problem formulation and ideation in terms of a set of nine problem formulation characteristics and ASU’s ideation effectiveness metrics respectively. We discuss the limitations that the choice of the design problems caused, and how the progress of a class of students during a semester-long design course resulted in a convergence in sets of metrics that we have defined to characterize problem formulation and ideation. We also review the results of students of a similar course which we reported last year in order to find common trends.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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