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First-Year Engineering at Purdue: An Iterative Design Process
Design is what designers do when they design the design. Helping students begin to develop design knowledge, skills and strategies is a key focus of Purdue’s First-Year Engineering program. Based on what we know from the growing design literature basis, we place particular emphasis on problem scoping/problem framing, generating many design concepts rather than fixating on a single concept, and the role of iteration in design. However, in designing learning experiences to develop students’ “design thinking” competencies, the course instructional team also engages in an iterative and human-centered design process characterized by the exploration of many design concepts, many rounds of revisions, revisiting our problem statement, and eliciting input and feedback from our students. This talk presents our most recent design concepts: our use of video modules as part of a flipped classroom model, benefits associated with the use of the online modules, planned changes to the modules and overall flipped classroom model, other technology-enabled pedagogical methods and our approaches to assessment.
Dr. Monica Cardella is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She is currently the course coordinator for the first-semester First-Year Engineering course. There are 14 sections of this course offered this fall with a total enrollment of approximately 1,600 students. Dr. Cardella has been conducting research on engineering students’ and practitioners’ design thinking processes for the past 12 years. She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award for her work on investigating the interplay between design thinking and mathematical thinking in engineering. Dr. Cardella is also the Director of Informal Learning Environments Research for Purdue’s Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning and in this capacity conducts research on how young children engage in design through interactions with parents, web resources, out-of-school programs and science museums. Dr. Cardella earned her PhD and MS in Industrial engineering from the University of Washington and her B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Puget Sound. She was also a National Academy of Engineering Postdoctoral Engineering Education Researcher at Stanford University’s Center for Design Research.