The development of a Lego Mindstorms-based curriculum for design and ergonomics students

DS 75-8: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13), Design for Harmonies, Vol.8: Design Education, Seoul, Korea, 19-22.08.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Garrett, David W.; Underwood, Peter J.; Jun, Gyuchan Thomas
Series: ICED
Institution: Loughborough Design School, Loughborough University, United Kingdom
Page(s): 021-028
ISBN: 978-1-904670-51-3
ISSN:  2220-4334


Design students' understanding of design processes and their ability to continually improve on them is a fundamental concern in design education. This paper discusses a curriculum development project at Loughborough Design School, investigating the use of LEGO Mindstorms as the basis for a system design learning activity. A range of studies have demonstrated the value of Mindstorms in higher education applications. However, these have typically focused on undergraduate engineering courses and emphasise the development of technical skills. Our aim was to create a learning activity for students from a range of design programmes, focusing on their understanding of design processes. We developed a team design learning activity for undergraduate design and ergonomics students, and conducted a pilot study to assess the feasibility and value of this approach to student learning. This has shown the potential usefulness of Mindstorms problem-based learning activities in improving students' understanding of the design process.

Keywords: Design education, design learning, design process, Lego Mindstorms, ergonomics


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