Out of their world: Using alien-centered design for teaching empathy in undergraduate design courses

Shawn Jordan, Micah Lande, Monica Cardella, Hadi Ali

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Designing for others is a paramount focus of teaching user-centered engineering design. This paper presents a novel engineering design brief presented to undergraduate engineering students to design for extra-terrestrials scheduled to visit their collegiate campus. Through this alien-centered design approach, students are pushed to develop empathy for a group of users quite different from themselves and to conceive and design within such an given context. A detailed plan of action is described for both cases with detailed deliverables aligned to course learning objectives. Examples of the interactions students make with their extra-terrestrial users are listed and examples of student work and final deliverables are highlighted. Reflections from the end of project are also included from students and instructors alike. The work presented here may serve as a building block to these types of successful engineering design projects in the classroom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2013 Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationEnergizing the Future, FIE 2013 - Proceedings
Pages907-913
Number of pages7
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
Event43rd IEEE Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2013 - Oklahoma City, OK, United States
Duration: Oct 23 2013Oct 26 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Other

Other43rd IEEE Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2013
CountryUnited States
CityOklahoma City, OK
Period10/23/1310/26/13

Keywords

  • Alien-centered design
  • Context
  • Empathy
  • Engineering design projects
  • User-centered design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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  • Cite this

    Jordan, S., Lande, M., Cardella, M., & Ali, H. (2013). Out of their world: Using alien-centered design for teaching empathy in undergraduate design courses. In 2013 Frontiers in Education Conference: Energizing the Future, FIE 2013 - Proceedings (pp. 907-913). [6684957] (Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE). https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2013.6684957