Two consecutive project-based learning engineering design courses – an analysis of portfolio assessment results
Jaeger, M and Adair, D, Two consecutive project-based learning engineering design courses - an analysis of portfolio assessment results, Proceedings of the Interdisciplinary Engineering Design Education Conference (IEDEC) 2014, 3 March, Santa Clara, CA, USA, pp. 1-5. ISBN 978-1-4799-4381-4 (2014) [Refereed Conference Paper]
The purpose of this study is to analyze the portfolio assessment results for two consecutive undergraduate interdisciplinary (civil and mechanical engineering) project-based learning engineering design courses. Based on those learning outcomes, which both courses have in common, trends in changes of results are identified, quantified and interpreted.
The findings show that the results improved significantly regarding three learning outcomes (Demonstrate and justify the incorporation of a systems approach to design activities based on a sustainability framework; Identify, justify and apply the technical knowledge and skills required to successfully complete an engineering design project; Articulate and demonstrate personal application and development of the practice of professional engineering), clearly worsened regarding one learning outcome (Applying techniques of project management), and didn’t show significant trends in the remaining five learning outcomes.
Educators need to be aware that reaching anticipated learning outcomes seems to be more strongly influenced by the focus of engineering design projects (i.e. planning versus implementation) than the repetitive nature of these learning outcomes. Therefore, identical learning outcomes in consecutive engineering design courses cannot be considered a redundancy; rather they constitute a necessary re-enforcement within the framework of a different design project.