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Challenges in Using a Delphi Method to Formalize Conceptual Understanding in Functional Reasoning

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael J. Scott, Margaret G. Allen, Diksha Gaur

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

Paper No. DETC2017-68422, pp. V003T04A010; 6 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 19th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 14th International Conference on Design Education; 10th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Cleveland, Ohio, USA, August 6–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5815-8
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


A project to develop a concept inventory for functional reasoning in engineering design using a Delphi method encountered some unanticipated difficulties at the outset. The anonymous elicitation of a list of candidate concepts from an expert panel was expected to be a straightforward first step in a process in which the main work would be the creation and validation of multiple choice questions to probe understanding of these concepts. Low response rates and inconsistent concept descriptions led to a reconsideration of the nature of the concept inventory project. The early results from the project are discussed and compared with a similar stage of a different concept inventory project in thermodynamics. Implications of this comparison for the field of functional reasoning and the development of concept inventories for relatively immature fields are discussed.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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