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research-article

The Prototype for X Framework: Assessing Impact on Self-Reported Prototyping Behavior of Student Designers

[+] Author and Article Information
Jessica Menold

School of Engineering Design and Professional Programs, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 16802, USA, ASME Member
Jdm5407@psu.edu

Kathryn Jablokow

School of Engineering Design and Professional Programs, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 16802, USA
kwl3@psu.edu

Timothy W. Simpson

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 16802, USA
tws8@psu.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041781 History: Received April 09, 2018; Revised October 09, 2018

Abstract

A significant gap exists between engineering students' perceptions of prototypes and prototyping abilities and professionals' perceptions and abilities. Structured prototyping frameworks have recently been developed and proposed as a means to help students close this gap, but the effects of these frameworks on students' behavior has not been assessed. The purpose of this work is to investigate if and how a structured prototyping framework affects the prototyping behaviors of engineering students. Understanding how structured prototyping frameworks affect students can provide educators with a deeper understanding of the way their students adopt and understand design methods. A mixed methods study is presented. A 15-item survey and two open-ended questions were distributed to 235 students in a junior-level mechanical engineering design class in order to capture self-reported prototyping behavior. Quantitative results indicate that significant differences in engineering students' prototyping behaviors exist across time and between groups. Results from qualitative analysis indicate that students in the control group focused solely on improving technical quality, while students in both experimental groups focused on a wider range of design qualities. This study is the first to demonstrate that a structured prototyping framework can affect engineering students' self-reported prototyping behaviors during design activities.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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