Development and implementation of an intermediate design course using active learning

John S. Lamancusa, Laura L. Pauley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Six years ago, the Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Department at Penn State, after many heated debates, approved a major curriculum change that included adding a required course in Design Methodology. This action was taken to better align with ABET curriculum objectives, particularly in the area of Design. The course was designed from a set of learning objectives and emphasizes design thinking, decision making, and professional skills including communications and effective teaming. A concurrent approach is used, where theory and application are presented simultaneously, using the design process as the underlying framework. Students are exposed to design in a variety of contexts through in-class examples, case studies and hands-on projects. The major challenge of this course is to offer a high-quality design experience to over 300 students per year in multiple sections with multiple instructors. Several assessment tools were employed to assess student self-efficacy and skill development. This paper discusses the development, operation, and results of the course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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