Design the Future Activities (DFA): A Pedagogical Content Knowledge Framework in Engineering Design Education

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2 Scopus citations


We propose an effective, innovative framework for developing content for design activities that address the challenges of the future where emerging technologies play a central role. Although engineering education research is concerned with preparing future engineers, the integration of future trends in technology with the engineering curriculum has been limited. We propose the Design the Future Activities (DFA) as a framework for systematically identifying and integrating emerging areas of research and technologies, such as artificial intelligence, into the teaching of engineering design. The core of developing and delivering the DFA framework is the teaching of the technology of artificial intelligence (AI). Because these technologies will change the nature of the future, we seek to engage with the ongoing discourse on the relationship between content (for design education) and pedagogy, through a proposed pedagogical content knowledge conceptual framework. Through a scholarship of integration that breaks the boundaries between disciplines, we propose a three-level framework: (1) Understanding technology analysis and system integration (to allow students to identify appropriate solutions given new technologies); (2) Making a value chain (or how these are appropriate solutions); and (3) Developing responsible innovations (or why these are appropriate solutions). While engineers continue to be creators and influencers of such technologies, the lack of understanding of the impact of their own technologies continues to cause an imbalanced innovation landscape, in education and in the workplace. We conclude that a new design approach to the engineering curriculum should be attempted, assuming that educators will systematically anticipate the future and recalibrate the curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 29 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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