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Title: Portraying Engineering Design Expertise: Empirical Insights


1
Portraying Engineering Design Expertise
Empirical Insights
  • Cindy Atman
  • Director
  • Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching
  • University of Washington
  • First International Computing Education Research
    Workshop
  • October 1, 2005

Acknowledgements This work has been supported
by grants from the National Science Foundation
RED-9358516, DGE-9714459, EEC-9872498,
REC-012554, ESI-0227558, SBE-0354453, the GE
Fund, the Ford Motor Company Fund and the Boeing
Company.
2
Research Program
  • University of Pittsburgh (1993-1998) Mary
    Besterfield-Sacre, Karen Bursic, Justin Chimka
    and, Stefanie Lozito Carrie Mullins, Heather
    Nachtmann
  • undergraduates Jamari Atkinson, John Clune, Rona
    Colassimo, Georgette Diab, Morris Fields, Brandie
    Hill, Anthony Horton, Jennifer Kreke, Stefanie
    Lozito, Terra Mitchell, Pamela Moore, Jill Nagel,
    Eugene Parker, Sharon Petrichko, Elizabeth
    Rodriguez, Jason Saleem, Jessica Shuman, Laura
    Simpson, Gwen Staples, Nick Tettey, Chris Yarsky,
    LisaYounger, Maryland Vick and Kathryn Zoffel,
  • University of Washington, Center for Engineering
    Learning Teaching (1998-2005) Robin Adams
    (Purdue, 6/05), Theresa Barker, Laura Bogusch,
    Monica Cardella, Susan Mosborg, Eddie Rhone, Roy
    Sunarso, Jennifer Turns, Ken Yasuhara
  • undergraduates Jacob Burghardt, Diana Baral,
    Yimin Chen, Louise Cheung, Jennifer Chin, Julie
    Christianson, Athena Epilepsia, Meera Kumar,
    Rebecca Kim, Angela King, Ashley Lam, Ian Louie,
    Jana Littleton, Cameron Lowen, Michael Music,
    Jennifer Rees, Alison Schwerzler, Cathie Scott,
    Robert Tai, Jennifer Temple, Tarrah Wells,
    Shannon Westphal and Bettina Vuong

3
Research Program
  • Lots of conversations
  • Engineering Education Community
  • Computer Science Education Community
  • Design Thinking Research Community
  • Learning Sciences Community
  • LIFE The Center for Learning in Informal and
    Formal Environments (John Bransford, Dan
    Schwartz, Nancy Vye)

4
Todays Agenda
  • Engineering and engineering education
  • Research program on engineering design knowing
  • Portraits of engineering design expertise
  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Experts

5
What is engineering?
  • Engineering (NAE)
  • applied science
  • design under constraint
  • Engineering method (Koen, 2003, p. 7)
  • The strategy for causing the best change in a
    poorly understood situation within the available
    resources

6
What do engineers need to know?
ethics
global context
management skills
math
engineering analysis
problem solving
leadership
professionalism
design
contemporary issues
teamwork
analyze data
conduct experiments
life-long learning
societal context
science
communication
business knowledge
engineering tools
creativity
7
A focus on design knowing
ethics
global context
management skills
math
engineering analysis
problem solving
leadership
design
professionalism
contemporary issues
teamwork
analyze data
conduct experiments
life-long learning
societal context
science
communication
business knowledge
engineering tools
creativity
8
Research Program on Engineering Design Knowing
  • Look at different populations of engineers
  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Experts
  • Descriptive studies
  • Comparative studies

9
Connecting to Computer Science Education
  • As you listen, think about this
  • What would analogous work look like in the
    computer science education community?
  • What might you do differently?
  • Different model of design?
  • Different experimental design?
  • What kind of task would you use?

10
Todays Agenda
  • Engineering and engineering education
  • Research program on engineering design knowing
  • Portraits of engineering design expertise
  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Experts

11
Portraits of Design Expertise Students
Lenses Information Gathering Design Process
Iteration Broad Thinking



Engineering Design Process Skills



Freshmen
Seniors
12
One Dimension Broad Thinking
Lenses Information Gathering Design Process
Iteration Broad Thinking



Engineering Design Process Skills



Freshmen
Seniors
13
Broad Thinking Current Research at Multiple
Institutions
14
Portraits of Design Expertise Faculty
Lenses Information Gathering Design Process
Iteration Broad Thinking


?


?
Engineering Design Process Skills

?

?
Freshmen
Seniors
Faculty
15
Portraits of Design Expertise Experts
Lenses Information Gathering Design Process
Iteration Broad Thinking


?


?
Engineering Design Process Skills

?

?
Experts
Freshmen
Seniors
16
One Model of the Engineering Design
Process(derived from analysis of 7 engineering
texts)
Design Activities
Design Stages
(Identification of a Need) Problem
Definition Information Gathering Generation of
Ideas Modeling Feasibility of analysis Evaluation
Decision Communication (Implementation)
Problem Scoping Developing Alternative
Solutions Project Realization
17
Experimental Design
  • Participant groups Freshmen, Seniors, Faculty
    (engineering educators) and Experts (practicing
    professionals)
  • Solved Playground Problem thinking out loud
  • Asked experiment administrator for information
    while solving the problem
  • Took from 2 to 3 hours

18
(No Transcript)
19
Playground Problem Statement
  • You live in a mid-size city. A local resident
    has recently donated a corner lot for a
    playground. Since you are an engineer who lives
    in the neighborhood, you have been asked by the
    city to design a playground.
  • You estimate that most of the children who will
    use the playground will range from 1 to 10 years
    of age. Twelve children should be kept busy at
    any one time. There should be at least three
    different types of activities for the children.
    Any equipment you design must be safe for the
    children, remain outside all year long, not cost
    too much, and comply with the Americans with
    Disabilities Act.
  • The neighborhood does not have the time or money
    to buy ready made pieces of equipment. Your
    design should use materials that are available at
    any hardware or lumber store. The playground
    must be ready for use in 2 months.

See Handout
20
Todays Agenda
  • Engineering and engineering education
  • Research program on engineering design knowing
  • Portraits of engineering design expertise
  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Experts

21
Think About It
  • 1. Review the handout
  • 2. Think about this question What differences
    might you see between the freshmen and seniors in
    terms of how they distribute their time across
    design activities?

then discuss with a neighbor
22
Mean Cumulative Time per Design StageFreshmen
vs. Seniors
minutes
design stage
23
Student Timelines
Successful Graduating Student (Quality Score
0.63)
Canonical Entering Student (Quality Score 0.37)
24
Student Timelines
Freshmen
Seniors
25
Results Students
  • 26 Freshmen 24 Seniors (8 CE, 8 ME, 8 IE)
  • Seniors
  • had higher quality designs (whew!!)
  • gathered more information, covering more
    categories
  • made more transitions among design steps
  • spent more time iterating and iterate more
    effectively
  • progressed farther in the design process

26
Todays Agenda
  • Engineering and engineering education
  • Research program on engineering design knowing
  • Portraits of engineering design expertise
  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Experts

27
Think About It
  • What differences might you see between the
    students and the faculty members in terms of how
    they distribute their time across design
    activities?

then discuss with a neighbor
28
Results Faculty
  • 4 faculty members (2 mechanical engineering, 1
    industrial engineering, 1 engineering physics)
  • 2 main approachesimplementers idea
    generators
  • Implementers looked similar to seniors, with lots
    of iteration, information gathering, and
    precision.
  • Idea generators worked at higher level of
    abstraction and thought beyond initial problem
    requirements.

29
Faculty Timelines
30
Faculty Cumulative Time Charts
31
Faculty Some Details
  • Ann, Implementer Approach
  • Transition from gathering information to modeling
    ideas
  • User-centered (children, parents)
  • Precise (e.g., swings at 93.71 each)
  • Carl, Idea Generator Approach
  • Made assumptions instead of gathering information
  • Added own goals/constraints
  • Children learning about participating in society
  • Cognitive (not just physical) challenges

32
Todays Agenda
  • Engineering and engineering education
  • Research program on engineering design knowing
  • Portraits of engineering design expertise
  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Experts

33
Think About It
  • What differences might you see between the
    students and the experts (or between the faculty
    members and the experts) in terms of how they
    distribute their time across design activities?

then discuss with a neighbor
34
Early, Emerging, New Results
19 Experts practicing engineers with an average
of 19 years of experience
  • 2 Civil Engineers
  • 3 Electrical Engineers
  • 2 Industrial Engineers
  • 2 Materials Science Engineers
  • 8 Mechanical Engineers
  • 2 Systems Engineers

35
Mean Total TimeFreshmen vs. Seniors vs. Experts
minutes
36
Mean Cumulative Time per Design StageFreshmen
vs. Seniors vs. Experts
minutes
design stage
37
Mean number of information requests Freshmen vs.
Seniors vs. Experts
38
Current focus Inductive analysis
  • Experts efficiency framing vs. innovation
    framing

Susan Mosborg
39
Two Dimensions of Adaptive Expertise
Confused Novice
Adaptive Expert
Optimal Adaptivity Corridor
Routine Expert
Novice
Schwartz, D. L. Bransford, J. D.
40
Eric
High info seeker Gets neighborhood survey
equipment specs
  • Swings
  • Slides, with climbing towers
  • Monkey bars
  • Seesaw

41
Oscar
  • Rocket ship to climb into, with slide
  • Hip Martian sandbox--crater
  • Clubhouse--space station
  • Water geyser with flying saucer
  • Lunar lander--geodesic dome of pipe

42
Oscar starts with high level goals
  • So the key at this point is to think about what
    would be cool things for kids to do who are
    between the ages of 1 and 10 . . . . What do
    kids between 1 and 5 like? . . . They like to
    climb on stuff, they like to crawl through stuff,
    they like to hide, they like to run around, they
    definitely like to swing.

43
Pursues novelty with audience in mind
  • What would kids think is cool?
  • That hasnt been overdone
  • What would kids like?

Im not super excited about this, just because
it seems really typical, really common in a
playground, but kids like it.
44
Pursues novelty with audience in mind
  • What would kids think is cool?
  • That hasnt been overdone
  • What would kids like?

45
Oscar
2/3 way in before he starts rough detailing
Materials and how to construct
Tunnel mountain Make believe play set
(movie sets) Rope bridge Seesaw Swing Climber Ma
ze Fort Skate park Play hill Rope spider
web Tires Fire truck Basketball
hoop Horeshoes Ball pit Climbing wall
  • Martian sandbox
  • Water geyser
  • Balance beam area
  • Open grass play area
  • Asphalt path around

46
Experts Timelines
Eric, Efficiency Framing
PD GATH GEN MOD FEAS EVAL DEC COM
Oscar, Innovation Framing
PD GATH GEN MOD FEAS EVAL DEC COM
47
Experts Cumulative Time Charts
48
Eric
  • What I did was not very inventive, if you
    will, or creative, but it was expeditious. . . .
    On the other hand, it may be more real world in
    that sense.

49
  • . . . . Frankly, in the real world, clients
    never pay us enough to really optimize. I think
    there is a clients have an expectation that
    theyre getting the best solution. Well, nobody
    typically pays enough money to get the best. You
    find a solution thats plausible, you might try
    to fine tune it from there. . . .
  • My design philosophy is generally find a
    solution that works, and then if you can make it
    longer lasting, cheaper, easier to build, more
    durable, better looking, all those kinds of
    criteria, easier to maintainthats a big
    onethen you go from there off the plausible
    solution.

50
  • An example of something that wouldnt be like
    that, if somebody said, here, build me a machine
    that will fly a person 200 feet off the ground
    using, I dont know, solar energy or something.
    Well, its something that we havent seen before,
    and so the design process might have to be
    different.
  • However, in this case, if you said design me an
    office layout for a computer and a printer and a
    window looking out at the view, thats something
    people have seen before, they can pull together
    fairly quickly. This exercise with the
    playground I think allows somebody who has been
    around playgrounds and has been through the
    design process to draw on established solutions.

51
Eric and Oscar A Discussion
  • Would Eric display more innovation framing if
    the task required it (i.e., if the task was more
    novel)?
  • What counts as a novel problem?
  • Does Eric need to be more innovative?
  • Does Oscar need to be more efficient?
  • Who is the more adaptive expert?

52
ReviewPortraits of engineering design expertise
  • Students canonical freshman, successful senior,
    etc.
  • Faculty Implementer (Ann), Idea Generator
    (Carl)
  • Experts Efficiency Framing (Eric), Innovation
    framing (Oscar)

53
Emerging data...emerging patterns?Patterns of
patterns?
  Faculty "Implementer Approach Expert
"Efficiency Framing Student "Successful
Graduate"
?
Faculty "Idea Generator Expert "Innovative
Framing         
54
(No Transcript)
55
Portraits of Design Expertise
Lenses Information Gathering Design Process
Iteration Broad Thinking


? ?


Engineering Design Process Skills

?
?

?
?
Faculty
Experts
Freshmen
Seniors
56
Connecting to Computer Science Education
  • As you listened, what kinds of thoughts
  • What would analogous work look like in the
    computer science education community?
  • What might you do differently?
  • Different model of design?
  • Different experimental design?
  • What kind of task would you use?

57
More Information
  • Contact atman_at_engr.washington.edu
  • Read
  • Adams, Robin S. Cognitive Processes in Iterative
    Design Behavior, Ph.D. Dissertation, University
    of Washington, 2001.
  • Adams, Robin S., Jennifer Turns and Cynthia J.
    Atman. Educating Effective Engineering
    Designers The Role of Reflective Practice,
    Design Studies, Special Issue on Designing in
    Context, vol. 24, no. 3, 2003. pp. 275-294.
  • Adams, Robin S., Jennifer Turns and Cynthia J.
    Atman. What Could Design Learning Look Like?,
    Design Thinking Research Symposium VI
    Proceedings, Sydney, Australia, November 2003.
  • Atman, Cynthia J., Monica Cardella, Jennifer
    Turns, Robin S. Adams, Comparing Freshmen and
    Senior Engineering Design Processes An In Depth
    Follow-up Study, Design Studies, vol 26, no. 4,
    2005. pp.325-357
  • Atman, Cynthia J., Justin R. Chimka, Karen M.
    Bursic, and H. L. Nachtmann, A Comparison of
    Freshman and Senior Engineering Design
    Processes, Design Studies, vol. 20, no. 2, pp.
    131-152, March 1999.
  • Atman, Cynthia J., Jennifer Turns, Monica
    Cardella, and Robin S. Adams. The Design
    Processes of Engineering Educators Thick
    Descriptions and Potential Implications, Design
    Thinking Research Symposium VI Proceedings,
    Sydney, Australia, November 2003.
  • Bogusch, Laura L., Jennifer Turns, and Cynthia J.
    Atman, Engineering Design Factors What Do
    Students Think is Important, Frontiers in
    Education Conference Proceedings, Kansas City,
    MO, November 2000.
  • Bursic, Karen M. and Cynthia J. Atman.
    "Information Gathering A Critical Step for
    Quality in the Design Process." Quality
    Management Journal, 4(4), 1997, 60-75.
  • Cardella, Monica E., Cynthia J. Atman, Jennifer
    Turns and Robin S. Adams Which Engineering
    Students Design Processes Change? Four Cases In
    progress, to be submitted to Journal of
    Engineering Education.
  • Moore, Pamela L, Cynthia J. Atman, Karen M.
    Bursic, Larry J. Shuman, and Byron S Gottfried
    Do Freshmen Design Texts Adequately Define the
    Engineering Design Process? Proceedings of the
    American Society for Engineering Education Annual
    Conference, Anaheim, CA, 1995.
  • Mosborg, Susan, Robin Adams, Rebecca Kim, Cynthia
    J. Atman, Jennifer Turns, and Monica Cardella
    Conceptions of the Engineering Design Process
    An Expert Study of Advanced Practicing
    Professionals, Proceedings of the American
    Society for Engineering Education Annual
    Conference, Portland, Oregon, 2005.
  • Turns, J., Robin S. Adams, Angela Linse and
    Cynthia J. Atman. Bridging from Research to
    Practice in Undergraduate Engineering Design
    Education, International Journal of Engineering
    Education, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 379-390, 2004.
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