Critical thinking in the design classroom: An analysis of student design reflections

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Within the domain of education, the term “critical thinking” is widely understood to mean the various skills that comprise an individual’s logical and reasoning abilities. It is critical that designers possess these abilities so that they can solve the complex problems of an increasingly interconnected world. In order to better understand patterns in engineering students’ critical thinking, this research applies the classifications of the 2001 revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy to 49 reflections written by first-year engineering students on a two-hour design practicum. Reflections were thematically coded to identify when students operated in different levels of the cognitive process and knowledge dimensions. Using k-means clustering analysis, genres of reflection were then determined. Four unique clusters of responses were identified. Notable trends in clusters included application and evaluation of procedural knowledge. Additionally, a difference was observed between the two largest clusters regarding deviance from the design process. While one cluster of responses generally minimized discussion of deviance, the second largest cluster emphasized this deviance, highlighting it as an opportunity for future growth. This work provides insight into how students learn design and how they communicate their learning, providing insight for instructors hoping to encourage deeper critical thinking in design courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication21st International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 16th International Conference on Design Education
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791859216
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
EventASME 2019 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC-CIE 2019 - Anaheim, United States
Duration: Aug 18 2019Aug 21 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference
Volume3

Conference

ConferenceASME 2019 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC-CIE 2019
CountryUnited States
CityAnaheim
Period8/18/198/21/19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Modeling and Simulation

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  • Cite this

    Evans, E., Menold, J., & McComb, C. (2019). Critical thinking in the design classroom: An analysis of student design reflections. In 21st International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 16th International Conference on Design Education (Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference; Vol. 3). American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2019-97533