Evidence of measureable progress towards our educational goals is a key aspect in engineering education. Gathering relevant information about what a program or course aims to do is crucial in improving the effectiveness of pedagogical approaches and course content offered in the engineering curriculum. The purpose of this study is to provide an assessment of the implementation of an engineering design class by exploring how effective this course is meeting its anticipated goals.
The engineering design class is a multidisciplinary course focused on the human-centered design process. The course was launched during summer 2018 and it was created for first-year engineering students to promote early engineering design experience. In this class, students are exposed to solid modeling software, introductory programming, Arduino based hardware platform, and 3D printing as maker tools for engineering prototyping. Students work in teams with the opportunity to practice some project management, written and oral communication, and other professional skills while building a societal-based design prototype. The intended course goals include: 1) Learn techniques to solve open-ended engineering challenges; 2)Promote a culture of making by introducing solid modeling, programming, sensors, data acquisition, 3D printing, and other maker tools; 3) Build teamwork and cooperative learning skills through participation in multidisciplinary teams and active engineering project management; 4) Build professional skills in background research & written, pictorial, and oral communication methods, among others.
This study presents a short evaluation of these goals using the Utility value component of Eccles’ Expectancy Value framework (1983). Utility value refers to how useful the task is to a person’s future (e.g., undertaking a design course in order to become an engineer). We will employ data collected from former course participants in the Summer 2018, Fall 2018, and Spring 2019, i.e. 1 year after course participation. A survey will be distributed by e-mail including Likert-type scale statements and open-ended questions on both course goals and what was perceived as useful about the course. Results of this study have the potential to inform interested stakeholders about the benefits associated to the adoption of this type of courses in the engineering curriculum.
Are you a researcher? Would you like to cite this paper?
Visit the ASEE document repository at
for more tools and easy citations.