Campus Units

Industrial Design

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition

Conference Title

122nd ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Conference Date

June 14-17, 2015




Expanding Evidence-based Pedagogy with Design Heuristics Creative thinking during concept generation has been identified as a key source of successful innovations; thus, techniques to support creative conceptual design are imperative in engineering education. However, teaching students to “think in novatively” has been difficult for many educators, often because of a lack of effective instructional methods. While a variety of methods for concept generation have been published, only one method has been systematically derived from observing engineers during design creation and empirically validated in scientific studies:Design Heuristics. In empirical studies, Design Heuristics have been successfully tested in engineering and design classrooms, have been readily adopted by students, and have been shown to result in more creative, and more diverse, concepts.The focus of this project is to create a set of lessons for engineering students based on empirically-validated Design Heuristics that can be incorporated directly into existing undergraduate courses. The project is designed to refine these pedagogical methods through co-creation of lessons with engineering instructors from diverse institutions and backgrounds. Our goals include: 1) raise awareness of the importance of teaching students to generate creative concepts; 2) educate instructors on how to teach Design Heuristics within existing engineering classes; 3) assess learning outcomes from Design Heuristics pedagogy from diverse instructors,courses, and universities; and 4) incorporate the lessons learned to develop an effective, easy-to-adopt pedagogy for educating students about how to generate creative ideas.In this paper, we focus on a sustainable foundation for our development of design pedagogy for transforming undergraduate education in engineering. We present our progress and vision for this foundation, and illustrate some instructional lessons that have emerged from our work.


This is a proceedings from 2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, June 14-17, 2015. Posted with permission.


© 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference.

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American Society for Engineering Education



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