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The use of engineering design scenarios to assess students knowledge of global, societal, economic and environmental contexts

Event Date: May 29, 2017
Authors: Ann McKenna, Morgan Hynes, Amy Johnson and Adam Carberry
Journal / Conference: European Journal of Engineering Education
Product archaeology as an educational approach asks engineering students to consider and explore the broader societal and global impacts of a product's manufacturing, distribution, use, and disposal on people, economics, and the environment.
This study examined the impact of product archaeology in a project-based engineering design course on student attitudes and perceptions about engineering and abilities to extend and refine knowledge about broader contexts. Two design scenarios were created: one related to dental hygiene and one related to vaccination delivery. Design scenarios were used to (1) assess knowledge of broader contexts, and (2) test variability of student responses across different contextual situations.
 
Results from pre- to post-surveying revealed improved student perceptions of knowledge of broader contexts. Significant differences were observed between the two design scenarios. The findings support the assumption that different design scenarios elicit consideration of different contexts and design scenarios can be constructed to target specific contextual considerations.