TESTING METHODOLOGY FOR ENGINEERING DESIGN EDUCATION
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
Author: Batliner, Martin; Boës, Stefan; Heinis, Timon; Meboldt, Mirko
Institution: ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Section: Assesment Methods in Design and Engineering Education
Testing plays an important role in product development. However, general testing methodology has received little attention in both product development literature and engineering design education. When trying to include testing methodology in engineering design education, the following questions are raised: (1) What are the needs of engineers with regard to testing methodology? (2) Can these needs be addressed with theoretical models? To assess the first question, we surveyed ten graduate engineering design students to evaluate both their knowledge and their needs regarding testing methodology in product development. To address the second question, we developed a theoretical model that links the level of testing activity with the fidelity and integration level of a prototype, which should foster the students’ understanding of the role of testing with respect to the maturity of a system function in product development. We evaluated how the model supports the students’ understanding with an explorative study in an undergraduate project-based engineering class with 440 students. Furthermore, we analysed how the model can be used to illustrate distinctive approaches students take regarding testing in their projects. This paper presents the results of the pilot survey, a theoretical model on the role of testing in product development and the results of the explorative study. Based on the discussion of the questions presented above we provide recommendations on what to consider when integrating testing methodology in engineering design education.