Why make it? Understanding undergraduate engineering students' conceptions for the purpose of prototyping in engineering design activities

Hadi Ali, Micah Lande

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

Abstract

Prototyping in design provides ways to navigate ambiguity in the design problem, gain insight through the refinement of ideas, and aid in communication between team members. However, while designing, students often underutilize prototyping and do not consider it as an integral part of the design process. To facilitate the scaffolding of design activities, it is necessary first to understand students' conceptions of prototyping. In this study, we use artifact elicitation interviews as a method to elicit students' conceptions by moving from the specifics of the artifacts they brought with them to the interview, to their general understanding of prototyping. Participants in the study are students in an undergraduate sophomore design-oriented, project-based learning course in a large southwestern university. Students were invited to participate in a screening survey. After potential participants suitable for the purpose of this study were identified, some were selected for a follow-up interview. The findings of the study describe students' conceptions of 'what counts' as a prototype; what is valued in a prototype; the benefits of, and challenges associated with prototyping; and differences between in-class and out-of-class prototyping activities. The findings of this study improve our understanding to effectively scaffold prototyping activities in design and experiential learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Education
Subtitle of host publicationFostering Innovation Through Diversity, FIE 2018 - Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538611739
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 4 2019
Event48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2018Oct 6 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
Volume2018-October
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Conference

Conference48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose
Period10/3/1810/6/18

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Keywords

  • Design education
  • Design learning
  • Prototyping
  • Scaffolded activities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this

Ali, H., & Lande, M. (2019). Why make it? Understanding undergraduate engineering students' conceptions for the purpose of prototyping in engineering design activities. In Frontiers in Education: Fostering Innovation Through Diversity, FIE 2018 - Conference Proceedings [8658628] (Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE; Vol. 2018-October). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2018.8658628