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Work in progress — Encouraging innovation by having students develop their own course design projects

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1 Author(s)
Hoffman, A.H. ; Worcester Polytech. Inst., Worcester, MA, USA

Project based design courses incorporating realization have an important role in the education of engineering students. Instructor supplied design projects allow students to develop creative solutions. However, these projects largely bypass or eliminate the innovative part of the design process related to recognizing and developing the need for the design. In 2008 the format for an intermediate level design course was changed so that the student teams became responsible for developing their own design projects. In addition, team members became individually accountable for different phases of the project. Some refinements to the format were introduced in 2009. A typical project statement is to ask students to design a new device to assist elderly persons with a disability. The resulting student developed projects have been of high quality and it has been recommended that several of the groups file invention disclosures with the university. Student course evaluations strongly support this new approach.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2010 IEEE

Date of Conference:

27-30 Oct. 2010