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Describing Student Design Behavior

Chimka, Justin R. and Atman, Cynthia J. and Bursic, K.M. (1997) Describing Student Design Behavior. In: 1997 ASEE Annual Conference, June 15 - 18, 1997, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Open-ended design behavior can be characterized in part by the transitions a designer makes through steps in the design process. For example, a designer may define a problem, gather some information, develop several alternatives, then move back to reexamine the original problem definition before continuing with analysis. Each movement from step to step can be defined as a transition. Another way to describe design behavior is by the percentage of time spent in each of the design stages. These behaviors distinguish different types of processes that a designer might use. To study how engineering students approach and solve design problems, we collected data from seniors while they designed a playground for a fictional neighborhood. In this paper we will discuss the design behavior of these students by investigating the relationship between the percentage of time spent in various design stages, the number of transitions per unit time and how well the students were able to meet the constraints in the problem.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Chimka, Justin R.
Atman, Cynthia J.
Bursic, K.M.kbursic@pitt.edukbursic
Date: 15 June 1997
Date Type: Publication
Series Name: American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the 1997 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Milwaukee, WI
Publisher: American Society of Engineering Education
Page Range: pp. 1-13
Event Title: 1997 ASEE Annual Conference
Event Dates: June 15 - 18, 1997
Event Type: Conference
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.18260/1-2--6489
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Industrial Engineering
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 2153-5965
Official URL:
Funders: National Science Foundation grant RED-9358516, Ford Motor Company Fund, GE Fund, Lockheed Martin, Westinghouse Foundation, Xerox Corporation
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2021 13:59
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2021 13:59


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