Guided design as applied to engineering problem solving is an instructional format used to illustrate the decision-making process in engineering problem-solving in a slow, step-by-step, sequential fashion. Through a series of instruction-feedback format, the students are guided through the various steps of the decision-making process, pausing at each step long enough to perform the necessary task or make the appropriate decision required for the step. As each instruction is thoroughly executed, by the t eam as a whole, immediate feedback to the particular instruction is given by the instructor. The next instruction/feedback and the various steps of engineering problem-solving can then be covered. Taken together these steps provide a process or a method ology which is generic and characteristic of most engineering problem-solving.

A. Administration and Organization

  1. The class is divided into groups, each group consisting of not more than six students. One of these groups is the management group responsible for the conduct of the project as a whole, for editing the final report, and for coordinating the oral presentation and the visual display.

  2. A project leader (facilitator) and a recorder are elected from among and by the group members for the first phase of the project. They will begin the initial meeting of the group, organize it and oversee the overall development of the project. These functions should be rotated during the course of the project so that each student in the team is in turn leader and recorder. The functions of the recorder is to keep the minutes of the meetings and to centralize the information gathering.

    EID101 will require fluent use of your Cooper Union Internet account for communication and sharing of appropriate information with your fellow EID101 students. This will occur through your use of e-mail and documentation of your work on the World Wide We b. Help is available! Consult the muse at http://www.cooper.edu/EID101/for information and tutorials. Submit questions, problematic code, etc. via e-mail and in person BY APPOINTMENT ONLY between 2 and 5 PM on Thursdays in the office of Mechanical Engi neering (Room 253) on the second floor of the Engineering Building. E-mail with questions or for an appointment at muse@cooper.edu. Muse is Adrianne Wortzel, an instructor in the Schools of Engineering and Art at Cooper Union.

  3. The project is divided into a number of logical phases, lasting approximately one to two weeks. A new leader and a new recorder will be elected for each new phase.

  4. Class time (scheduled hours) is used for group discussion and the decision-making process. Research, analysis, design and development work is mostly conducted outside of class hours.

  5. The instructor serves as a consultant to the group and interacts through the project leader as well as directly with the group.

  6. Each phase is sub-divided into a series of instruction/feedback formats. The group should not proceed to the next instruction until the feedback to the former instruction is satisfactorily executed in the judgement of the instructor.

  7. At the beginning of each class session, each leader makes a brief two-minute oral presentation, in the presence of the instructor and other groups, about the work completed thus far, the problems encountered and the solutions obtained, and the anticip ated work for the next phase.

  8. An oral presentation/poster session is made toward the end of each project. Each member of the group is to participate in such a presentation. The use of media, such as a slide projector, view graphs, video, computer animation, etc., is highly encou raged. (The attire for the oral presentation should be commensurate with the occasion). This presentation will be videotaped.

  9. A formal, type-written report, professionally prepared, with proper illustrations, figures and supporting documentation, is due at the completion of the project. This is the responsibility of the group leader in coordination with the management group . This report will form one of the chapters of the class report.

  10. The report will be graded by the instructor and returned at the earliest possible date. A final grade for the project for each student will be arrived at, based on the assessment process explained below under "C".

B. Requirements

An oral presentation will be scheduled as well as a Poster Session (See under #8 in "Administration and Organization above).

The class as a whole will submit a complete report which will include specific proposals. Each group will be responsible for a particular chapter in this report dealing with some aspect of the problem and of its proposed solution (see under #9 in "Admini stration and Organization" above).

The work record of each group will be available on the web as indicated under #2 above..

C. Assessment

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has mandated that by the year 2000, students will have to be assessed to ensure that they have acquired satisfactory levels in certain core competencies such as analytical skills, communication skills, project management, etc.

To begin this process we are initiating an assessment process in the Guided Design part of EID101. The purpose of assessment is both formative and summative: formative means that it gives you feedback along the way to help you improve your performance in a specific competency, e.g. oral communication, and summative means that at the end of the course it provides you with a detailed measure of your accomplishment. This summative evaluation will be translated into a grade so that it can be entered onto yo ur record as for any other course.

An assessment packet giving the list and definitions of the competencies in EID101 Guided Design is appended.

Course StructureGroupsDesignProject
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