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Title: Engineering Improvisation : New Approach to Design Thinking Mindset
Authors: Ebrahimi, Shelir
Yazdanpanah, Reza
Diggins, Gary
Hemmerich, Andrea
Folk, Lauren
Taghvaei, Armaghan
Krone, Jacob
Keywords: Improvisation
Engineering design
Deep listening
Active observation
Cognitive Bias
Issue Date: 28-Feb-2023
Abstract: As a professor of teaching, I felt so hopeless and heart-broken when I read a post from one of our graduating students, sharing their story of student’s life, which mentioned engineering education and all of its reports writing, etc. destroyed the creative storytelling side of the them. It got me thinking why engineering education is perceived as against art and creativity? is that really what we do to our students unintentionally? Lifelong learning has been the focus of learner-centered Experiential Learning (EL) programs that are developed to prepare undergraduate students for a rapidly changing world. Most EL courses within Engineering programs that are developed to build a foundation for undergraduate engineering students to become lifelong learners, are project-based so they can provide an opportunity for students to practice design thinking process along with other technical skills. Engineering students are usually competent with the technical aspects of the design thinking process such as testing and prototyping, however, they mostly struggle to grasp the importance of the early steps of the design thinking process, which are collecting information (from the client and other resources) and idea generation. Also, due to the nature of the technical courses that students take, especially at early stages of their studies, projects are more prescriptive which contribute to pushing students to jump to a solution without investigating lots of other viable options. This approach has a potential to kill creativity and result in a not-well-justified solution. A new engineering design mindset that provides an opportunity for students to delay the decision making so they can understand the challenge better and explore more options, requires the development of new training resources. Active observation, deep listening, taking risks, idea generation, and embracing failures are key components of this new engineering design mindset that students have not been formally trained on. These skills that industry partners also expect new engineering graduates to have, are the basis of improvisation; however, to date, they have been mainly introduced and practiced in Arts-based studies and activities. Recently, in some Canadian Universities including McMaster, there has been some development of activities and workshops in the Medical Schools to introduce the application of improvisation, but nothing in Engineering. In response to these training gaps in experiential learning curriculum, our team started this project to design and create online multi-component modules to guide undergraduate engineering students in developing their skills in the main area of Improvisation in Engineering. These skills that are connected to main steps of Engineering Design Process, will guide students through developing new design thinking mindsets.
Other Identifiers: 47744f03-21b7-44f2-bb68-faf1a044a0f6
Appears in Collections:Ontario OER Collection
VLS Collection

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Engineering-Improvisation-New-Approach-to-Design-Thinking-Mindset-1677612121.epub%%dl%% EPUB125.7 MBEPUBView/Open Resources for Educators: Module 1 - CC BY-NC-SA (MP4, SRT Files)2.57 GBzipView/Open Resources for Educators: Module 2 - CC BY-NC-SA (PowerPoint Slides)862.33 kBzipView/Open Resources for Educators: Module 3 - CC BY-NC-SA (MP4, Text, PowerPoint Slides)128.12 MBzipView/Open Resources for Educators: Module 4 - CC BY-NC-SA (PowerPoint Slides)1.81 MBzipView/Open Resources for Educators: Module 5 - CC BY-NC-SA (JPEG, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint)82 MBzipView/Open
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