Product dissection is a problem-based learning activity that is often integrated into engineering courses in order to help students learn to systematically disassemble and analyze a product and all of its parts. Product dissection was first introduced into engineering education in the early 1990’s and has since been a staple in introductory courses. Although many studies have been conducted in relation to product dissection, research has not been systematic, leaving us to question how variations in product dissection impact learning, creativity, or both for students when used in the classroom. To fill this gap, our research group has conducted numerous studies over the last 4 years in order to systematically investigate variations in deployment of product dissection in an engineering classroom. Using the findings from these studies we have developed a virtual product dissection module and deployed it in an introductory engineering course. We provide recommendations for the use of product dissection in the classroom and provide insights into the deployment of this module. The results from the case study that follows the impact of the module indicate that students found the dissection modules helped them understand how the products worked and that it could be used to inspire creative ideas during idea generation, but that some of them struggled to see how their dissected product related to the design task they were completing. These results are used for continued development of the product dissection classroom lesson modules.
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