2018 FYEE Conference

Workshop: Problem Definition and Concept Ideation, An active-learning approach in a multi-disciplinary setting

Presented at Technical Session VII

Abstract: This workshop integrates an Active Collaborative Learning (ACL) approach to class management with ideation techniques. Participants will have a hands-on experience, acting as students in a “train the trainer” format. Three topics will be introduced: 1) The Gallery Walk method, 2) Problem Decomposition, and 3) The Brainsketching ideation technique. A brief preview of next steps will be presented as well.

Workshop Overview The five step process covered in the workshop will allow participants to experience and ACL approach successfully used with freshman engineering students. Participants will be divided into teams of four or five to engage in the workshop activities. In Step 1, each team will be given “bugs” or “pain points,” which are instances of frustration, annoyance, dissatisfaction or suboptimal solution people experience on a frequent basis. These “bugs” were previously generated by students enrolled in the workshop facilitators’ courses. In Step 2, teams will fashion these bugs into Point of View statements for simulating design discussion. Step 3 involves an interactive Gallery Walk, while Steps 4 and 5 address issues related to problem decomposition and design solution ideation.

In addition to the ACL and ideation techniques presented in the workshop, a formal out-of-class meeting approach will be presented that includes agenda and record keeping methods. This approach is used to facilitate student team self-management.

  1. Prof. Robert Gettens Western New England University [biography]
  2. Harlan E Spotts Jr. Western New England University [biography]
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