Teaching Design by Integration throughout the Curriculum and Assessing the Curriculum using Design Projects
Joseph A. Shaeiwitz
Department of Chemical Engineering, West Virginia University
P.O. Box 6102, Morgantown, WV 26506-6102, USA
An excellent paradigm for design education is the integration of design throughout the under- graduate curriculum. The design skills desired of graduates are introduced in the first course and developed throughout the curriculum via projects each semester. These skills are reinforced continuously, and students receive constant feedback regarding their mastery of these skills. The traditional capstone course is used to polish these skills further rather than being the first and/or only place in the curriculum where these skills are taught. Any design project, particularly the capstone project, also provides an excellent assessment measure. After a design project presentation, the question and answer period can be a rich source of assessment information. Students get immediate feedback on their work, and faculty, through questions and follow-up questions, can determine in great detail the level of each student’s understanding of and ability to apply fundamental principles. This paradigm also develops oral and written communication skills, provides students the opportunity to develop these skills with periodic feedback, and provides faculty with the opportunity to assess the development of these skills.