Assessing How Digital Design Tools Affect Learning Of Engineering Design Concepts


Engineering education has been evolving over the last few decades to include more engineering design courses in the curriculum or offer a new degree altogether that allows one to design a unique degree suited to his or her own interests and goals. These new engineering curricula produce engineers with strong backgrounds in fundamental engineering and design knowledge, which make them strong candidates for solving complex and multidisciplinary engineering problems. Many universities have embraced the need for multidisciplinary engineers and have developed interdisciplinary engineering design courses for many experience levels. Such courses build a foundation in engineering design through a unique series of lectures, real-world examples and projects, which utilize validated design tools and methodologies. This paper assesses the value of using design tools, web-based and downloadable, in undergraduate interdisciplinary design engineering courses. Six design tools are tested for their ability to increase the student's knowledge of six design concepts. Also, the tools are evaluated for ease of use and if the different digital formats affect their educational impact. It was found that most students valued all the design tools and that the tools reinforced all but one design concept well. Quotes from the open- ended portion of the survey demonstrate the acceptance of the design tools and a general understanding of the importance of engineering design. The design tools, design concepts course goals, survey questions and survey results are discussed. Copyright © 2009 by ASME.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

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Article - Conference proceedings

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Publication Date

25 Jun 2010