The promise of impromptu design exercises as a pedagogical tool in engineering design education

Teresa Genevieve Wojcik, G. M. Clayton, Aleksandra Radlinska, Noelle K. Comolli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The directive to engineering educators from ABET and industry leaders is clear: incorporate more design education into the curriculum. This mandate presents a challenge for many fouryear programs already filled with engineering science courses and other degree requirements. Faculty members worry that if something is added to their courses, then something else will have to be removed. More specifically, they express concern that the inclusion of design experiences will necessitate reductions in the amount of essential engineering content communicated in their courses.1 Indeed, bringing more design into the classroom will require adjustments to existing courses. However, it also provides an opportunity for colleges of engineering to engage in curriculum work to fill a noticeable gap in the learning sequence. The effort directed now towards addressing this gap and improving design education should produce long-term benefits in the form of more effective engineering programs and more capable professional engineers. This paper begins by identifying the curricular gap found in many engineering programs and explaining why it is problematic for the learning process of engineering students. Then, the authors offer a possible solution for curriculum incoherence by advocating the use of impromptu design exercises across the engineering curriculum. The paper concludes by describing a pilot study on impromptu design exercises being conducted by the authors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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