Cynthia J. Atman and Ken Yasuhara
Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching
University of Washington, Box 352180, Seattle, WA 98195-2180, USA
E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin S. Adams
Department of Engineering Education
Purdue University, Armstrong Hall, 701 West Stadium Ave., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2045, USA
Theresa J. Barker
Department of Industrial Engineering
University of Washington, Box 352650, Seattle, WA 98195-2650, USA
Department of Technical Communication
University of Washington, Box 352195, Seattle, WA 98195-2195, USA
Lake Partners Strategy Consultants, Inc.
1000 Second Ave., Suite 3600, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
In this paper we characterize breadth of problem scoping in an engineering design problem. Specifically, we present several measures that quantify the number and variety of factors an individual problem-solver considers during the engineering design process. We apply these measures to data collected from freshman and senior engineering students who solved a short design problem. The results of our study indicate that graduating seniors do consider a broader array of factors than freshmen as they undertake the problem-scoping stage of the design process.