Learning to Design in Engineering: Techniques and Tools for Self Learning and Conceptualization

TitleLearning to Design in Engineering: Techniques and Tools for Self Learning and Conceptualization
Faculty/College/UnitApplied Science
Duration1 Year
Project Summary

We will use innovative learning methods and develop innovative teaching tools to facilitate the learning of key processes of engineering design, namely problem definition, self-learning, self-evaluation, personal interaction and project management. Students have voiced a concern that the time spent learning computer programs to solve problems distracts them from learning course material. A course developer (recent graduate student) and co-op students will be hired to develop example problems that illustrate the use of computer programs and analysis techniques. These will be used by students in a "learn by doing" mode resulting in increased focus on design and problem solving rather than on learning methodologies. Proposed tools mainly include analysis and simulation software. The problems will be placed on a web site available to all engineering students. In addition, no design/project space exists, where small groups of students can use advanced systems and tools for brainstorming, developing and analyzing concepts, recording ideas and progress, and for presentation and communication with outside groups. Twenty project design spaces will be provided that could service up to 150 students/year. Purchased using departmental monies, the systems include electric white and graphic boards, and a high-resolution scanner and projectors. Using monies supplied mostly from the office of the Dean of Applied Science, a server will be set up and maintained to connect the design/project spaces and provide access to the software. A project space can be set up anywhere, but at least one room will hold several so that separate groups may be able to interact.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2001/2002
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorW. Scott Dunbar
Year 1: Funded Amount50,000
Year 1: Team Members

W. Scott Dunbar, Integrated Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Royann J. Petrell, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science