This is a research study that investigates the range of conceptions of prototyping in engineering design courses through exploring the conceptions and implementations from the instructors’ perspective. Prototyping is certainly an activity central to engineering design. The context of prototyping to support engineering education and practice has a range of implementations in an undergraduate engineering curriculum, from first-year engineering to capstone engineering design experiences. Understanding faculty conceptions’ of the reason, purpose, and place of prototyping can help illustrate how teaching and learning of the engineering design process is realistically implemented across a curriculum and how students are prepared for work practice. We seek to understand, and consequently improve, engineering design teaching and learning, through transformations of practice that are based on engineering education research. In this exploratory study, we interviewed three faculty members who teach engineering design in project-based learning courses across the curriculum of an undergraduate engineering program. This builds on related work done by the authors that previously investigated undergraduate engineering students’ conceptions of prototyping activities and process. With our instructor participants, a similar interview protocol was followed through semi-structured qualitative interviews. Data analysis has been undertaken through an emerging thematic analysis of these interview transcripts. Early findingsmore »
Innovating Scaffolded Prototyping for Design Education: Toward A Conceptual Framework Derived from Mathematics Pedagogy
The practice of prototyping is challenging to novice designers as they underutilize insights that prototyping offers to solving design problem. Central to this challenge is the abstract nature of design concepts like idea representation, iteration, and problem solution-space exploration. A unique opportunity from mathematics education presents itself for design educators and facilitators; that is, teaching with manipulatives. We seek to transfer such practices in mathematics education to design education and practice. Challenges exist for design researchers to carefully craft activities in design education mainly because of the open-endedness of problems, decision-making that takes place while designing, and the inherent uncertainties in the design problems. Ultimately, the goal is to develop students’ ability to flexibly transfer expertise to other contexts and new design challenges.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Forty-First Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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