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Teaching Students to Innovate: Evaluating Methods for Bioinspired Design and Their Impact on Design Self Efficacy

[+] Author Affiliations
Fabien Durand, Michael E. Helms, Julie S. Linsey

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Joanna Tsenn, Erin McTigue, Daniel A. McAdams

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Paper No. DETC2015-47716, pp. V007T06A003; 14 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 27th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5717-5
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Bioinspired design is becoming an increasingly popular approach that makes use of nature as a source of inspiration to develop designs. Tools and methods are currently being evaluated to determine how designers may best leverage biological systems to generate designs. In this paper we present a study in an engineering elective course at Texas A&M University that explores the effects of five different methods for bioinspired design on the quality and quantity of ideas generated, student self-efficacy, as well as student feedback. These methods include Directed, Case Study, the use of AskNature.org, BioTRIZ, and Functional Modeling. We show that each of the methods produces numerous effective and creative solutions, with a high quality and quantity of ideas. We also show that the methods utilized to teach bioinspired design methods positively affect the students’ design confidence, outcome expectancy and anxiety, while also preserving students’ high motivation towards engineering design. Finally, we identify potential areas for improvement for the methods and the course.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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