A review of practical design integration methods for existing engineering curriculum Conference Paper uri icon


  • American Society for Engineering Education, 2015. Design is a fundamental aspect of engineering education. Traditionally, students are challenged with acquiring a skillset for design during their first year in introductory design courses and their last year in senior capstone design courses. In most engineering undergraduate curricula, throughout the sophomore and junior year, design is not necessarily a focus. Some efforts have been made in an attempt to incorporate design through every year of the engineering curriculum. Some of these notable efforts include the Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate (CDIO) initiative implemented at various universities and the Institute for Design Engineering and Applications (IDEA) at Northwestern University, both of which showcase a completely restructured curriculum. While the CDIO framework and the IDEA program have been proven effective, not all institutions desire or are practically able to drastically restructure their curriculum. Therefore, practical methods of design integration to existing curriculum may prove more useful to these institutions. This paper includes a review of practical methods used to incorporate design in various engineering courses. Specific design integration methods reviewed in the paper include examples of project-based learning, inquiry-based learning, design competitions, case study modules, reverse engineering, and design-based learning. Assessments of these methods are qualitative in nature thus the comparisons are also qualitative. The goal of this research effort is to provide a brief review of current methods found in the literature. While a qualitative comparison of the methods is discussed, providing assessments of each method lies outside of the scope of this work.

published proceedings

  • ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

author list (cited authors)

  • Morris, E. T., & McAdams, D. A.

complete list of authors

  • Morris, ET||McAdams, DA

publication date

  • January 2015