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Engineering Education Research pres.

EER Seminar Series

Design Signatures: Empirically Based Representations of Design Processes / Dr. Cindy Atman, University of Washington

Dr. Cindy Atman Dr. Cindy Atman
Dr. Cindy Atman
Every instance of a design process can be represented with a design signature – a tracing of design activities over time that can be represented as a timeline. Design signatures can differ across levels of expertise of the designer(s) in significant ways. These representations have been shown to be effective for teaching undergraduate engineers about the complexities of design processes.

In this talk, I will review the research findings from an analysis of verbal protocols from 177 individuals with a wide range of expertise (from beginning undergrads through expert professionals in industry) who solved 401 separate design problems. We found that individuals with more expertise 1) use processes that demonstrate a higher level of complexity, 2) consider a broader set of information and objects during their design process, 3) spend longer solving the problem they were given, and 4) are more likely to demonstrate a cascade pattern in their tracing across design activities. I will also discuss several teaching activities that are derived from the research.
Dr. Cindy Atman Dr. Cindy Atman
Dr. Cindy Atman
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