DS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2019), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 12th -13th September 2019

Year: 2019
Editor: Bohemia, Erik; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Buck, Lyndon; Brisco, Ross; Evans, Dorothy; Grierson, Hilary; Ion, William; Whitfield, Robert Ian
Author: Nutzmann, Marc (1); Sauer, Thorsten (1); VOß, Markus (2); Bozkurt, Hulusi (2)
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: DHBW Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Friedrichshafen, Germany; 2: DHBW Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Mannheim, Germany
Section: Creativity 4
DOI number:
ISBN: 978-1-912254-05-7


Mechanical Engineering students acquire knowledge and skills in engineering design through several courses reaching from learning how to setup technical design drawings, CAD-courses, several courses dealing with machine elements and numerical analysis (FEM). In Mechanical Engineering the percentage of courses on engineering design covers, depending on the specific studies, from 10% in production engineering to 25% in engineering design of the overall credits. At the DHBW Engineering Design students are additionally encountered with a course on systematic approaches and processes (e.g. time to market process, agile project management, design thinking), diverse methods to facilitate and strengthen efficiency in the design and development process. In the last few years new concepts of education were implemented: Additive manufacturing allows the integration of prototyping, e-learning platforms allow the placement of pre- and post-educational content (blended learning) and therefore support open cooperation between students and lecturer.

This paper reflects experiences in teaching creativity methods, e.g. brainwriting, brainstorming or TRIZ. It compares ‘classic’ lectures where methods are described by the lecturer (‘teacher-centred’ learning) to a concept of specific exercises, where students are asked to apply the methods in teams. This rather ‘student centred’ learning concept allocates time to discuss the methods and experiences made by applying them in class. At a later point in the learning process students get more information, reflective views and discussion points through an e-learning platform. In order to evaluate the students’ perception of the learning concepts a questionnaire-based survey was conducted among altogether 150 students in four courses, three Bachelor courses of different Engineering programmes and a Master course. The survey evaluates 1. which learning concept according to the students helps to broaden systematic and methodical creativity skills best, 2. which creativity methods students consider to be applicable in industry and 3. if these methods are already applied in the students’ companies. The latter point can be analysed as every student at DHBW Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University compulsorily has a contract with a company and spends half of the studies in on projects in industry. Thus, the paper gains valuable insights into approximately hundred companies of different branches and sizes. Besides the conceptual description of the learning approach on methodical skills and the survey itself, the paper also furnishes an overview of best-practice examples that aim at helping students to engage with the Engineering Design process, focussing in particular on supporting methods and their application in industry.

Keywords: learning concept, creativity methods, e-learning, blended learning


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