Converging-diverging design strategies in a sophomore level design sequence: Review of an electromechanical project

Paris Von Lockette, Eric Constans, Jennifer Courtney, Kevin Dahm, William Riddell, Roberta Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


At our university Sophomore Clinics I and II are part of an eight-semester design sequence in which students progress from basic data collection and reverse engineering projects through more open-ended, industry-sponsored capstone design experiences. The team of multidisciplinary faculty from Engineering and Communications who teach the sophomore level courses have observed the difficulty students have tackling the fundamental open-ended nature of true design problems and have subsequently revised the sequence. For the Fall of 2005 the Sophomore Clinic sequence was revised to introduce Dym et al. 's converging-diverging framework for design by incorporating a series of three projects of increasing complexity with accompany activities designed to reinforce the converging-diverging concepts. For the third project in the series, roughly sixty students participated in an open-ended electromechanical design project that included lectures and activities to reinforce the design framework, assessment of the retention/comprehension of the framework's concepts, and a final design competition. While assessment data was unable to show a correlation between comprehension of the design framework and improvements in students' designs, results do show that students had adequate retention/comprehension of the converging-diverging philosophy and that students' designs performed better in the competition following the revised course as compared to the previous year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2007
Event114th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, 2007 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2007Jun 27 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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