The Design of Open Engineering Systems Lab

University at Buffalo - The State University of New York

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Assessment of Product Archaeology as a Framework for Contextualizing Engineering Design

Research Area: Research Publication Year: 2014
Type of Publication: Proceedings
Authors: Moore-Russo, Deborrah; Cormier, Phillip; McKenna, Ann; Johnson, Amy; Carberry, Adam; Simpson, Tim; Tucker, Conrad; Kremer, Gul; Zappe, Sarah; Shooter, Steven; Kim, Charles; Tranquillo, Joe; Williams, Christopher; McNair, Lisa; Paretti, Marrie; Chen, Wei; Gatchell, David
Series: ASEE-8971
Publisher: ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, IN
Product archaeology refers to the process of reconstructing the lifecycle of a product to understand the decisions that led to its development and has been used as an educational framework for promoting students’ consideration of the broader impacts of engineering on people, economics, and the environment. As a result, product archaeology offers students an opportunity to reconstruct and understand the customer requirements, design specifications, and manufacturing processes that led to the development and production of a product. This paper describes: 1) the identification and development of assessment tools for evaluating the impact of product archaeology, 2) the implementation of the product archaeology framework during two recent academic year semesters in undergraduate engineering courses at all levels across six universities, and 3) assessment results with evidence of the effectiveness of the product archaeology framework. This project uses existing survey instruments, including the Engineer of 2020 survey and the engineering design self-efficacy instrument to assess positive student attitudes and perceptions about engineering. Our assessment plan also uses two newlydeveloped design scenarios. These scenarios require students to respond to open-ended descriptions of real-world engineering problems to assess students’ ability to extend and refine knowledge of broader contexts. Emerging pre-test/post-test comparison data reveal that the product archaeology activities lead to more positive student ratings of both their own knowledge of broader contexts and their self-efficacy regarding engineering design. Analysis of the design scenarios (used to assess students’ ability to apply contextual knowledge to engineering design situations) includes results from the Spring and Fall 2013 semesters.