American Society for Engineering Education 2017
June 25-28, 2017
The American Society for Engineering Education annual conference is committed to fostering the exchange of ideas, enhancing teaching methods and curriculum, and providing prime networking opportunities for engineering and technology education stakeholders.
Sunday, June 25
Characterizing Students' Micro-Iterations Strategies through Data-Logged Design Actions
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Room A114, Columbus Convention Center
There has been a drive to incorporate design into K-12 programs in the form of engineering design projects. This presents a unique opportunity to study design cognition from a population that likely has minimal exposure to design. In this study we employ a method of utilizing a fine-grained computer logs to capture students’ design actions to better understand their design cognition in regards to iteration, which is an understudied but critical component of design. Twenty-seven 9th grade students from an urban high school in New England participated in the Solarize Your Home design project where they used Energy3D, a computer-aided design platform, to build their home and design several solar array systems for it. Students’ computer logs were analyzed for micro-iteration patterns and it was found that 41% of the students engaged in some micro-iterations. These patterns were condensed into four different types: solar panel system capacity testing, solar panel location analysis, solar simulations with panel placements, and investigating the suns path across seasons. The paper presents a series of alternative hypotheses and discussion on what these micro-iterations may represent cognitively. Finally, the paper concludes on what computer-logged data may be able to assist with on the topic of design learning in K-12.