EXPERIENCES WITH 'DIRECT PRODUCT FEEDBACK' IN COURSES ON ENGINEERING DESIGN
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
Author: Sauer, Thorsten; Voß, Markus; Bozkurt, Hulusi; Nutzmann, Marc
Institution: 1: Baden Württemberg Cooperative State University, Ravensburg / Friedrichshafen; 2: Baden Württemberg Cooperative State University, Mannheim
Section: Design and Engineering Education Practices
The article reflects student learning experiences with open-ended problems in an Engineering Design project by presenting a questionnaire-based survey that was conducted in a course held during the spring of 2016. In this project, Mechanical Engineering students from two different campuses (Mannheim and Friedrichshafen) were teamed up in distributed teams of four to five members. Each team received a mini-drone (quadcopter) and was asked to design a device that is able to carry a matchbox containing a number of five cent coins. Touching a defined landing zone, the mechanism should drop the matchbox without further external impact on the system. During the last stage of the project, i.e. the testing of the devices, the students had to shoot several uncut digital videos. Together with 'traditional' feedback given by the educators the project deliverables were graded by an indicator that was derived from these videos. Contrary to standard exercise series that usually accompany lectures in Engineering Design, the project does not just ask students to execute ‘pure paperwork’ but to design, build and test real products within extremely tight time constraints (eight weeks). A specific educational concern of the design project was to integrate so-called ‘direct product feedback’ into the practice of assigning grades of these 'design-build-test-experiences'. In other words, the students should be able to learn directly from the operating behaviour of their products and not just indirectly from the teachers’ grading.