The Effect of an Open-Ended Design Experience on Student Achievement in an Engineering Laboratory Course

Matthew Cullin, Getu Hailu, Matthew Kupilik, Todd Petersen

Abstract


This study explores the effect of incorporating an Open-Ended Design Experience (OEDE) into an undergraduate materials science laboratory taken by third-year mechanical engineering students. The focus of the OEDE was carbon fiber reinforced plastics and sandwich structures. The results indicate that the incorporation of OEDE’s in laboratory courses produces significant benefits in terms of student engagement, participation, and perception of competence. In addition, the OEDE was found to enhance students’ ability to apply related concepts as compared to non-OEDE lab activities. The authors conclude that the incorporation of OEDE’s can increase the effectiveness of engineering laboratory courses.

Keywords


project based learning; design challenge; mechanical engineering; laboratory

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy. eISSN: 2192-4880
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