Students discovering their own design processes: Using design process representations to learn about designing
Cynthia J. Atman , Center for Eng. Learning & Teaching, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Ryan C. Campbell , Center for Eng. Learning & Teaching, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Jennifer Turns , Center for Eng. Learning & Teaching, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Janet McDonnell , Central St. Martins, Univ. of the Arts London, London, UK
Using a research-to-practice model to teach undergraduate engineering students about the design process, we adopted a classroom activity that used design process data derived from research and represented in the form of timelines as an advance organizer to facilitate student learning. We also developed a set of assignments, including some where students created and shared their own representations of the design process. In this "work in progress" paper, we report on a small, qualitative study of how students responded to these materials, which are designed to focus attention on design processes rather than on design outcomes (e.g., products). We present visual representations that two of the students created in response to three assignments to demonstrate the diverse ways in which the assignments can be carried out and to illustrate how a focus on the design process itself promotes individual learning. In addition, we present a preliminary coding of the assignments for these two students as to whether the concepts covered in the classroom activity and assignments appeared in the student work. This is intended to act as a baseline measure of the effectiveness of the materials to teach design.