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Integrate case students into existing engineering courses and programs to help students understand how technical concepts coupled with curiosity, making connections, and creating value can lead to new products and businesses.
GENERAL
ByBill Kline (In Memoriam), Doug Melton
175438229929
Updated: 9/8/2021 10:31 AM
The increasing complexity of the challenges facing our society and world suggests that engineering graduates must be outstanding problem solvers, designers, and value creators in a variety of settings. The solutions, designs, and systems created must solve technical problems and provide benefit to a variety of stakeholders who may have broad interests in financial, social, and environmental outcomes.Engineering education often focuses on the quantitative skills of problem solving yet solutions to many of the most challenging problems require higher level design, entrepreneurial mindset, and value creation skills. The opportunity to create value, or to fail to, occurs in many settings with engineers commonly called upon to create value in design settings. While being a good designer is a hallmark trait of an engineer, current approaches to teaching design need improvement because a high percentage of products and services introduced to the marketplace fail to find success. An engineering education with emphasis on employing an entrepreneurial mindset would improve the odds of success. Applying methods from systems engineering, this work extends the idea of developing a product to developing a successful solution within a system. That system includes stakeholders, features, and a series of views representing the designed system or product. It is shown that these results are highly complementary to existing conceptions of ‘creating value’ as part of the 3 C’s. Tools and views are presented for classroom use to support the 'creating value' objective through case studies of successful and unsuccessful products. Results from a first run of a class exploring these new approaches are provided in a 2018 ASEE paper.The elements of a ‘value creation’ mindset in an engineering education entrepreneurial context includes:1. Value is a relative concept and is illustrated through selection or choice.2. Creating and capturing value at the enterprise or organizational level can be illustrated in the completeness and alignment of product, business, and execution models. (customer desirability, technically feasible, business viability, organizationally implementable)3. The value of a product or offering can be studied by a. identifying important stakeholders and features and b. developing a product or offering to perform and exhibit the important features identified. 4. Products and systems are successful when they provide capabilities and characteristics that a significant number of stakeholders find attractive and choose over competing options.
DisciplinesComprehensive InstitutionsRose-Hulman Institute of Technology | The Kern Family Foundation
GENERAL
ByMaysam Nezafati, Joe Le Doux, Katherine Shook, Kelvin Pierre
5384010748
Updated: 9/8/2021 10:32 AM
How we used Entrepreneurial Mindset to eliminate bias in design? This card describes the framework of a project, designed for an undergraduate engineering course where students' curiosity is challenged to identify cases of non-inclusive engineering designs and work in teams to propose a solution to the flawed designs using the concepts they learned within the class or outside class. In this assignment, students share their personal experiences of exposure to a biased design as a story with their teammates (see this card) where they discuss the importance and impact of each design, both on a personal and societal level. Potentially a connection could be created between the personal experiences and the topics students choose which acts as an intrinsic motivation tool to work as a team to create value for the negatively affected people. Our experience from piloting the project in an engineering course:This project provides a platform for any engineering student to demonstrate their 3Cs. For the first time this assignment was executed in a major-required second-year analytically-focused biomedical engineering course called “Conservation Principles in Biomedical Engineering”; but the scope of resources shared here, can be customized for any engineering course. Also, based on class size, available infrastructures in the institutions, and format of the class (virtual, in-person, or hybrid) the instructors can modify the logistics or pace of the project phases. The quality of the artifacts significantly improved when students worked as groups of four. To evaluate the effectiveness of integrating EM using this project two implementation schedule was used. In the first approach the project was executed in two consecutive weeks at the end of semester. In the second approach, the project was dispersed through the semester. Both students and instructors found the second method more effective. Project's structure:Preparation: Brainstorming: students are asked to work on their own to look for examples of non-inclusive (biased, flawed) designs. Story 1 (motivation): they share a case of a flawed design that personally affected them or a loved one. In this story, they identify whom the existing process or design was intended to create value for, how bias affected the design, and how this impacted the person they are reflecting about. By having students tell a personal story we hope to make the impact of non-inclusive designs seem more real to them and to increase their motivation and sense of connection to the project. Phase 1:Case study: each student on the team shares their ideas for what they can work on together as a team. The team is tasked with identifying a flawed non-inclusive engineering design they’d like to learn more about and then developing a case study designed to inform and motivate members of the lay public about the flawed design and affected people. Story 2: each team member should write a creative story that illustrates, in an emotionally evocative and concrete way, how the flawed design (the one that they studied) has negatively impacted an individual or group of people. Phase 2:Proposal: the team create an engineering proposal for how to rectify the shortcomings of the existing design. To complete the second report, students use the engineering skills learned in the course to analyze the original design and to propose a new solution or a modification to the existing design, that will create value for the individuals who were not well-served by the original design. The objective of this part of the project is to allow students to see how the skills they have learned in the course can help them better understand how the design works, as well as how to improve it. Story 3: each team member should write a hypothetical story about a positive transformation that can happen to the affected user, if the proposal's modifications are executed successfully. This story should have technical details and have a professional audience. Presentation: (TED talk meets elevator pitch) the students present their work in a 2 minutes pitch presentation, addressing what was the value they created? why they think that is important? How they they want to solve the issue?
DisciplinesComprehensive InstitutionsGeorgia Institute of Technology
Cards are Engineering Unleashed's online templates for faculty resources. Browse and search for content that fits your topic, interests, and discipline, download lesson plans, presentations, case studies, and more.
REVIEWED GENERAL
813634447
Updated: 6/14/2023 11:53 AM
Reviewed: 10/14/2022 12:06 PM
Many innovative engineering creations throughout history have been designed for an “average” person, meaning that only select people could access the value created by these innovations. In this session, we will explore an assignment in a traditional analytical required engineering course that incorporates social justice concepts by requiring students to use their entrepreneurial mindset in a case study of bias in engineering. Demonstrating their curiosity, students are challenged to identify and explore an historical case of bias in a design solution that resulted in a lack of value creation for either themselves or someone they know. Then, the students integrate this story of personal interest to them with their engineering skill set to develop a conceptual model for both the original solution and a solution that creates value for those individuals who were not served by the original solution. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to draft their own EML/Social Justice assignment and receive feedback on their idea from other participants and the facilitators.
CategoriesClassroom & Courses DisciplinesBiomedical Engineering | Engineering Education | Entrepreneurship InstitutionsGeorgia Institute of Technology | Other
EXEMPLAR REVIEWED GENERAL
ByBrittany Nelson-Cheeseman, Deborah Besser, Doug Dunston, Kundan Nepal
119418113498
Updated: 9/8/2021 10:21 AM
Reviewed: 10/14/2022 3:04 PM
The Situational Motivation Scale tool, which is known as SIMS, is a vetted tool which measures student interest and self regulation on specific tasks. Doug Dunston facilitated a "professor-as-the-engineering-student" experience in which University of St. Thomas faculty self-assessed motivation and regulation on an engineering task of their choosing. The experience of assessing motivation, and by extension curiosity, led several engineering faculty to use this tool to assess and increase student intrinsic motivation and self regulation on specific tasks. Assessment of the tool includes a visual representation of motivation and regulation. An umbrella IRB study allowed for faculty to better understand student curiosity and adjust in real time without compromising student anonymity.
TagsM&M - August - 2019 | EUFD 2019 CategoriesCampus & Outreach DisciplinesComprehensive InstitutionsUniversity of St. Thomas
ARTICLE
Resources
We’re excited to reveal the top 10 achievements this year on Engineering Unleashed.
EXEMPLAR REVIEWED GENERAL
ByCheryl Li, Jean Nocito Gobel, Maria-Isabel Carnasciali, Nadiye Erdil, Ronald Harichandran
19854453699
Updated: 1/25/2022 4:27 PM
Reviewed: 10/14/2022 2:57 PM
This CardDeck provides a link to each of the 18 e-learning modules created by the University of New Haven that help develop an entrepreneurial mindset in students. The modules are designed to be integrated into existing engineering and computer science courses. Our efforts, as part of KEEN, are aimed at fostering an entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students. An entrepreneurial mindset applies to all aspects of life, beginning with curiosity about our changing world, integrating information from various resources to gain insight, and identifying unexpected opportunities to create value. We believe that an engineer equipped with an entrepreneurial mindset will be able to create extraordinary value within any type of organization. Development of 18 e-learning modules supporting entrepreneurially minded learning is part of this effort. The University of New Haven, a KEEN partner institution for over 7 years, aims to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in its engineering students by integrating the 18 e-learning modules into existing engineering and computer science courses. The e-learning modules are interactive, structured in a way that will allow integration into regular courses or utilization as supplementary resources, and each are accompanied with a teaching guide. The modules are generic enough to allow their deployment in various courses and majors.The length of each module is 3-9 hours of online student work. Online student work includes the amount of time a student is expected to spend reviewing material in a module as well as the average time needed to complete module assignments, activities or exercises.The development and implementation of the e-Learning Modules has taken placed over the past several years. Several papers and conference presentations document that effort and we invite you to read them - including 2 related papers at the most recent ASEE 2020 conference. Please scroll down to the resources section for direct links to the papers. E-Learning Modules Overview Videos You can see about a two-minute video in the following links to learn more about each module. Adapting a Business to a Changing Climate Applying Systems Thinking to Complex Problems Building Relationships with Corporations and Communities Building, Sustaining and Leading Effective Teams and Establishing Performance Goals Defining and Protecting Intellectual Property Determining Market Risks Developing a Business Plan that Addresses Stakeholder Interests, Market Potential and Economics Developing Customer Awareness and Quickly Testing Concepts Through Customer Engagement Cost of Production and Market Conditions Financing a Business Generating New Ideas Based on Societal Needs and Business Opportunities Innovating to Solve Problems under Organizational Constraints Innovative Client-Centered Solutions Through Design Thinking Learning from Failure Resolving Ethical Issues Role of Product in Value Creation The Elevator Pitch: Advocating for Your Good Ideas Thinking Creatively to Drive Innovation
CategoriesEngineering Unleashed Resources DisciplinesComprehensive InstitutionsUniversity of New Haven | Merrimack College
Transform your engineering students, department, and college with an entrepreneurial mindset at the KEEN National Conference!
GENERAL
538690
Updated: 6/22/2020 11:06 AM
We will be capturing all cards related to First-Year Programs Division presentations at the 2020 ASEE Virtual Conference using this CardDeck.  The entire FPD Schedule with links directly to Pathable (the Virtual Conference System) is available at this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mRDLpmOTw6-zomXUYa96OhbsAavsxnZT/view Scroll down to the folders below to view all the links.  To add your card to this deck, please comment at the bottom of this card and link to your card by typing # and then entering in the title of your card.  @Kaitlin Mallouk has already added an example in the comments below.
DisciplinesEngineering Education InstitutionsRowan University | The Kern Family Foundation
GENERAL
ByElise Barrella, Cheryl Bodnar, Maria-Isabel Carnasciali, Juan Cruz, Heather Dillon, plus 3 more
11061802248
Updated: 1/27/2023 12:18 PM
Although there has been a considerable increase in entrepreneurially-minded learning (EML) within engineering education, assessment of EM may be challenging. Concept maps (cmaps) are a direct assessment method that can provide a snapshot of students’ conceptual understanding of EM. A cmap provides a visual representation of an individual’s understanding of a topic through the use of nodes (concepts) and links (connections between concepts).This research-based toolkit provides an introduction to designing concept map assignments and scoring the cmaps to assess EML in your undergraduate engineering courses. The toolkit includes short videos, instructional guides for instructors and students, case studies, and templates that (1) introduce concept maps as an EML teaching and learning tool, (2) illustrate four types of concept map activities, (3) demonstrate multiple concept map scoring approaches, and (4) share lessons learned from implementing EM concept maps in different types of engineering courses (e.g., statics, first-year design, technical writing elective) across five different institutions. The modules and resources are available on the EM Concept Map Toolkit site.
Tagsconcept maps | assessment | toolkit CategoriesClassroom & Courses | Engineering Unleashed Resources DisciplinesComprehensive InstitutionsOther | Rowan University | Merrimack College | University of Washington Tacoma | The Ohio State University | Bucknell University
GENERAL
ByElizabeth DeBartolo, Jeanne Christman, Jennifer Bailey, Jennifer O'Neil, Mario Gomes, plus 2 more
21751450
Updated: 1/9/2020 1:07 PM
Climb the walls between departments, find new collaborators and opportunities around your campus.  Are you looking for ways to learn from others and discuss new ideas in an informal, supportive environment? Are you looking for ways to build community and make connections across departments and colleges? Look no further, start a Teaching Circle today!  RIT’s teaching circle was comprised a group of faculty, all interested in learning more about EML. We read The Saber-Tooth Curriculum, which made us think about what we teach, and why we teach it. Teaching Circle members formed the core group of a June 2019 ICE Workshop held on campus, and some continued on to a Fall 2019 Teaching Circle where we are exploring EM201 and continuing to share best practices.      The greatest value from our Teaching Circle so far is that a group of 20 faculty from eight different departments in two different colleges have spent time talking about what we do and connecting around the common theme of mindsets and skillsets for the courses we teach; together, we are building a community of faculty and support system.  How do you support and evaluate quality teaching on your campus?
DisciplinesComprehensive InstitutionsRochester Institute of Technology
A guide to displaying and documenting your work while maximizing your reach and impact.
"Students should spend some time investigating what lines up with them as a person and how they can progress. It is going to be good for them and it's going to be good for society.”
An engineering education with emphasis on employing an entrepreneurial mindset includes value creation, which improves the odds of career and product design success.
ARTICLE
Micromoments are quick activities to teach the 3Cs. Insert them into your existing class!
REVIEWED GENERAL
BySarah Brownell, Matthew Marshall
124101938
Updated: 6/14/2023 11:47 AM
Reviewed: 12/21/2022 8:44 AM
This card details my efforts at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to bring together faculty from various disciplines to create EML course activities centered on the NAE Grand Challenges or UN Sustainable Development Goals. The process to bring faculty toward collaboration detailed in this card may be useful to faculty or administrators trying to build cross-college transdisciplinary collaborations. This project extends what I learned from the 2020 Leadership Unleashed and 2021 Unleashing Academic Change Faculty Workshops. Funds for this project were provided by a 2021 KEEN Engineering Unleashed Fellowship. Establishing Transdisciplinary Grand Challenges Collaborations on Campus Background: In 2008 the National Academy of Engineering published a report detailing 14 Grand Challenges (GCs) for Engineering in the 21st Century. Duke, Olin, and the University of Southern California stepped up to create the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) designed to prepare students to address these GCs. They invited other Universities to join and more than a hundred have since established GCSPs. Thanks to funding from the Teagle Foundation and collaboration with four other universities, RIT’s Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) started in 2017 and is unique from many GCSPs in that it explicitly stresses integrating Liberal Arts (LA) and Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM). Project Motivation: After two years of disruption due to COVID19, our GCSP needed an infusion of energy. I found that many faculty, especially outside of the College of Engineering (and even inside) did not know what the GCSP was or if we had one at RIT. My project goal was to develop a faculty learning community that would then help inform faculty and students about global Grand Challenges, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals and help them integrate LA and STEM concepts. I established the following goals for my fellowship: Encourage faculty at RIT to connect concepts from Liberal Arts (LA) with the application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts and the goals of addressing Grand Challenges in their courses.Broaden exposure to the RIT Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) for both STEM and LA students by promoting curiosity about the interplay of technology, environment, individual people, and society.Broaden the discussion in both STEM and LA courses around:The value and risks of technology and technological thinkingThe underlying human values that objects, processes, systems, and decisions promote.How incorporating different perspectives in efforts to address Grand Challenges or Sustainable Development Goals will enhance the value of our students’ current and future solutions. Planned Implementation: My plan was to hold a half-day faculty workshop around the GCs during Winter break followed by a Spring semester faculty learning circle meeting monthly. By Summer I had hoped to have identified four pairs of faculty from LA and STEM disciplines committed to developing transdisciplinary modules for a future Grand Challenges Seminar. Pivots: My project only went loosely as planned… Schedule Pivot: By Winter Break, we were in a full-blown Omicron surge in Western NY. The university discouraged gathering prior to the start of the semester and serving food was forbidden. Instead of a half-day workshop, I joined with the larger RIT KEEN initiative of EML Active Learning Seminars, offering a one-hour Zoom seminar called “Integrating Transdisciplinary Perspectives on the Grand Challenges” in early February. I also participated on a panel organized by the colleges of Liberal Arts and Engineering to share faculty experiences working across disciplines, which generated interest from colleagues in Liberal Arts. Because the 1-hour seminar and 7 minute panel brief were not sufficient to recruit interested faculty and identify pairs, I held a longer “Transdisciplinary Grand Challenges Faculty Brainstorming Workshop” (with lunch this time) in May. Consequently, my timeline was delayed by four months. The workshop was well attended by faculty across colleges known to be active in transdisciplinary spaces. It included experienced faculty who helped shape my future ideas for the project. Implementation Pivot: The faculty in the workshop discouraged me from planning a 1-credit Grand Challenges seminar unless I was planning to require it for all GC scholars, citing their own experiences with low student enrollment and attendance for 1 credit courses that didn’t fit in a specific program. While I may later create a required Grand Challenges Seminar, we decided to create modules that could be included in existing General Education and STEM courses. I very much appreciate the advice of these mentors who saved me from doing a lot of work with little chance of success. After a few more summer Zoom meetings, we ended up with faculty teamed up for three projects and the planning of a symposium in December. Final Outputs Pivot: As of September 2022 we are still in the process of developing the modules with a plan to create EU cards for each. We may not have a need to create videos for these modules because they are not intended for a “flipped classroom” Grand Challenges Seminar and will instead be integrated in multiple classes in slightly different ways. We will provide EU Cards for the modules and a final video detailing the work done by faculty and students with footage of the symposium. The learning circle is continuing in Fall 2022 and, now that we have a motivated faculty team, we hope to recruit additional faculty pairs and utilize internal university grants to incentivize them to create Grand Challenges modules beyond December. Implementation Details and Resources KEEN Integrating Transdisciplinary Perspectives on the Grand Challenges Seminar, 1 hour Zoom seminar with example activity held in February 2022, 7 attendees. Meeting Agenda: Intro to KEEN and EML (this was provided by campus KEEN Leadership)Participant introductionsThe Grand Challenges Scholars ProgramCourse Example: “Grand Challenges: Clean Water” (This course is a General Education 3 credit Ethics Perspective, co-taught by an engineer and an ethicist. The class was inspired by the “Great Problems” courses at Worchester Polytechnic Institute).Active Learning Class Module Example: “The Play Pump Transdisciplinary EML Module” Card coming soon!Debrief on The Play Pump ActivityCall to Create more Transdisciplinary Grand Challenges Modules Resources: The ad and seminar slides are included below. The Play Pump Active Learning Module example is included as a separate card (link coming soon). The Playpump module is currently used in the Grand Challenges: Clean Water course, which is co-taught with an ethicist and is described in EU Card https://engineeringunleashed.com/card/2897. Advice: If you are planning a similar short seminar, 1 hour was tight for this full agenda. People joined late and had to leave early for class, the normal Zoom issues with sound, sharing, and rooms caused delays, and introductions took longer than expected. Schedule for 90 minutes or skip introductions. If hosting on Zoom use two presenters, one to present the content and the other to manage Zoom sharing and break out rooms. Transdisciplinary Perspectives on the Grand Challenges Faculty Brainstorm, 3-hour workshop with lunch held in May 2022, 12 participants. Two less formal Zoom meetings followed this workshop in June and July and served to develop ideas and form faculty pairs. Agenda: IntroductionsGrand Challenges Scholars ProgramKEEN Entrepreneurial Minded LearningTransdisciplinary GC SeminarGallery Walk: GC TopicsLunchBrainstorming Session Resources: Slides are included below. Ah-ha moments and Outcomes: I had expected it to be easy to form pairs from STEM and LA faculty with common interests around Grand Challenges. However, it quickly became clear that while STEM faculty interests tended to align with challenges (water, energy, security, etc), LA faculty focused on theories, processes, methods, etc that can easily lay over many/all challenges, like weaving a plaid pattern. Also, the idea of a Grand Challenges Seminar was scrapped in favor of integrating modules in existing courses such as Critical Thinking and Science Technology and Values. Ongoing Collaborations: We formed four sub-teams to work on modules and events. We will continue to meet and recruit other faculty in Fall 2022 and hope to establish additional incentive programs to encourage faculty to participate. Cards will be developed as the modules are completed. Integrating Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Grand Challenges Learning Circle: We will meet monthly in Fall 2022. Resources: The text of the call to join the learning circle is included below. Modules and Activities (under development):Horseshoe Solar Case Study: Three faculty will work to develop this case study module which will look at NY State renewable energy policy, technological viability of siting solar projects, Corporate Social Responsibility, economics of energy projects and relation to the tax base, community resistance, development on burial sites and viable farmland, and more! They plan to have the students interact across courses. Dr. Lisa Greenwood, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Safety Management in the College of Engineering Technology proposed the case and is using it in her Corporate Social Responsibility course focusing on the development firms perspective. Dr. Rob Stevens, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering will explore adding the case in his Renewable Energy course. Dr. M. Ann Howard, Professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society in the College of Liberal arts will integrate this case in her Environmental Studies course. True Campus Accessibility vs ADA: This module will explore how policy and infrastructure design address or fail to address true accessibility needs on campus, using RIT as the subject of the exploration. Dr. Jessica Hardin, Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts has been exploring this subject with her graduate students. The students will participate in developing the module. Dr. Dan Phillips, Associate Professor of Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering is the Director of Access Technologies on campus and runs the Liveability Lab, research and development facility. Dr. Matt Marshall, Associate Dean and Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering plans to integrate this module in courses that he leads for the Honors Program at RIT. Museum Studies Grand Challenges Round Up: This module will explore how museums portray the Grand Challenges and education the public about them. Dr. Juilee Decker, Associate Professor of Museum Studies in the College of Liberal Arts is including research on the module – how museums present Grand Challenges – in the Intro to Museum Studies course this fall. Sarah Brownell (bio above) will utilize the module with students in the Grand Challenges Scholars Program and in the Foundations of Community Engagement and Transformation course she teaches with Dr. Howard (bio above). Concept Maps around the Grand Challenges: Students in the Engineering Exploration course (more than 140 students per year) will select one of the GCs or SDGs. Over the course of the semester, they will construct a concept map that shows their understanding of not just the challenge itself, but the role that different engineering disciplines have in the particular problem. Dr. Matt Marshall (bio above) is developing this EM activity based on his participation in the ICE 1.0 workshop. Grand Thinking X Disciplines Symposium: The Grand Challenges Scholars Program plans to co-host an end of the semester symposium with the RIT FRAM Applied Critical Thinking Initiative that will include a student poster sessions on Grand Challenges projects and sharing of faculty work on the modules. We will create a 3-5 minute video surrounding this event and the experiences of the presenters. Dr. Jennifer Schneider is the Eugene H. Fram Chair of Applied Critical Thinking and a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering Technology, Environmental Management & Safety in the College of Engineering Technology. Sarah Brownell, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering will recruit and prepare students from the GCSP and the Grand Challenges: Clean Water course to participate in the student session and faculty to share their work developing the modules in the faculty session. Future Collaborations: Other collaborations are being considered for modules on Resilient Cities and Augmented Humans, and we plan to create Grand Challenges flavored sections of the general education courses “Science Technology and Values” in the Science Technology and Society Department and “Critical Thinking” in Philosophy. This work is on hold due to sabbaticals, active research projects, and Doctoral work.
CategoriesClassroom & Courses | Professional Learning DisciplinesComprehensive InstitutionsRochester Institute of Technology
“Recognizing the humanity of the people that we're working with and how to better connect with them is important.”
EXEMPLAR REVIEWED GENERAL
4671112399
Updated: 10/14/2022 3:06 PM
Reviewed: 10/14/2022 3:07 PM
Summary: This activity is designed for capstone and other in-depth design classes where students tend to jump in to building projects which don’t create meaningful value for their client. This activity outlines how to have students develop hypotheses about how their project will create value, then interview users and clients, using the data they collect to test and refine their value propositions. While this activity works amazingly well to get students to think divergently about projects, and even pivot the direction they are pursuing, doing it well is quite time consuming so it is really only appropriate for long-term projects such as those found in capstone design courses.Background: Studies of how most students (who are novice designers) approach design finds they tend to want to jump in to building something, even if what they want to build doesn’t really meet the needs of their client or create lasting value. This activity is designed to interfere with this “design freezing” mindset and is appropriate for capstone and other longer-term design projects where students want to jump right into building a design project without first understanding how their work will create value for the client. Rather than a pre-packaged method, complete with exercises to hand out the goal of this card is give you some ideas to address how to to get teams to focus more explicitly on creating value. Please modify or adapt these materials to suit your needs.Caution: If your course has teams create products to tight specifications dictated by a client, this method may not be suitable. Rather it is appropriate in the case that a client has blinders on due to the fact that they are deeply embedded in the problem space or looks at a project through the lens of their own experience. Duration & Approach: This long-term (4-8 week) activity is designed to help student design teams explore a project idea from multiple perspectives before investing time, energy, and resources in creating a solution. To create value in a design project, students should be able to think divergently and thoroughly explore the problem space before they can begin to converge on a design that creates value. The issue that often arises is that students lack the experience to really understand the boundaries of the design space in which they will work. Since many students have little real-world experience a key aspect of design is to see a project from others’ perspectives. The approach outlined here has student teams identify project stakeholders then go into the community and conduct interviews to explore how the project they will eventually build creates value for various users. This approach is adapted from Steve Blank’s lean startup model.To understand how their project addresses (or fails to address) stakeholder needs, students first create a handwritten representation of their project called a stakeholder-feature model. This diagram has a team hypothesize what features will create value and which stakeholders the features will have value for. Using this diagram students use a semi-structured interview protocol to identify and test the (often unstated) hypotheses that are built in to the stakeholder-feature model. Students pair up to conduct interviews with potential stakeholders, and use the interview data to refine their model and identify how their project does or does not create value for their identified stakeholder.Benefits & Resources: The benefit to this approach is that students create hypotheses about how their project creates value and then test these hypotheses by interact directly from users of their design. The hypotheses are initially derived from the stakeholder-feature diagram but as students conduct interviews new hypotheses should emerge. The evidence they gather has been very effective in getting students to “unfreeze” their design thinking and pivot the direction of their project. Since this experience is uncommon in undergraduate engineering courses it also helps distinguish graduates. The largest drawback is that each interview is conducted by two students and takes about an hour on average, not including the time needed to find and contact interviewees. Thus there is a significant opportunity cost in terms of time in the course. While it is not focused on explicitly in this exercise, much of the information students will discover exists independently and could be discovered through reports by market research firms. Other information is in the broader literature and students who have strong research skills may be able to forego some of the interviews. In the author’s experience, however, while time effective library research is not as effective as talking to people. Note also that some programs may envision their graduates working in established firms where customer discovery is not as important. In this case the skills developed in discovering value in order to create it may not be seen as important and this exercise not have a workable cost-benefit ratio in terms of student time commitment.
CategoriesClassroom & Courses DisciplinesComprehensive InstitutionsBucknell University
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