MAKE YOUR BED AND LIE IN IT! LEARNING TO TAKE THE CONSEQUENCES OF DESIGN DECISIONS IN AN ENGINEERING DESIGN PROJECT

DS82: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE15), Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research & Enterprise, Loughborough, UK, 03-04.09.2015

Year: 2015
Editor: Guy Bingham, Darren Southee, John McCardle, Ahmed Kovacevic, Erik Bohemia, Brian Parkinson
Author: Voß, Markus; Bozkurt, Hulusi; Sauer, Thorsten
Series: E&PDE
Institution: DHBW Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, Germany
Section: Project Based Learning
Page(s): 400-405
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9

Abstract

In many design assignments engineering students do a lot of paperwork. But on very rare occasions
during their studies they should also build and test the appliances, products or machines they have
planned. In this paper, the authors report on a project-oriented ‘design-build-test’ learning experience
that accompanies lectures on Engineering Design during the third semester of a Bachelor degree
programme in Mechanical Engineering. In the past academic year, students at DHBW Baden-
Württemberg Cooperative State University were asked to design a winch for launching non-motorised
model aeroplanes (gliders). The ground-based winch should be powered by a cordless drill. Instead of
designing everything ‘from the scratch’, the parts for the winches should be entirely selected from a
comprehensive supply parts catalogue, meeting a given budget. This allowed to go through all
development phases from conception to functional testing within only six weeks without causing
major capacity constraints to the faculty’s laboratory. For practising communication skills, students
from three different classes and two campuses were teamed up in groups. The project also involved
new techniques for classroom assessment. For example, students partially got graded for easily
accessible design-related parameters, like cost and assembly time. For determining the latter, the
students shot an uncut digital film (‘video selfie’) which they uploaded on the virtual learning
environment Moodle. The actual launching of the gliders will be organised outside the course in form
of a competition next summer.

Keywords: Design-build-test experience, student projects, engineering design, problem-based learning, orientation on competences, communications skills.

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