The Development and Implementation of a Tool for Encouraging the Practice of Student-Driven Documentation in Engineering Design
Abstract: With the
increase of engineering design activities in K-12 classrooms comes a new set of
challenges to educators and policy-makers. Previous studies have demonstrated the
benefits of incorporating design tasks into formal education curriculum; however, a gap
in research still remains surrounding how additional scaffolds can best support students
and teachers in these less traditional ... read morelearning activities. In this thesis, I will
discuss the development, design, implementation, and evaluation of one particular tool,
a documentation station, made with the intent of supporting engineering design tasks
within formal education settings. I set out to create a tool that would not only
encourage sketching, which has been long established as a valued skill of the
engineering discipline, but would also allow for other multimodal representations. Due
to the iterative nature of the design and testing of the documentation station, student
tendencies around documentation could be observed in response to the changes in design
of the tool itself and the different kinds of engineering design tasks in which the
students engaged. Analysis of classroom video footage, student-generated content, and
survey data suggest that students and teachers found different affordances and drawbacks
to the documentation station and the practice of documentation itself. This research
will detail the motivation behind the creation of the documentation station, the design
methodology and the resulting tool, and what insights surrounding student documentation
practices could be gained through its
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2017.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisor: Chris Rogers.
Committee: Chris Rogers, Ethan Danahy, and Kristen Wendell.
Keywords: Mechanical engineering, and Design.read less
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