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Engineering Design Thinking, Teaching, and Learning
Mechanical Engineering
  • Clive Dym, Harvey Mudd College
  • Alice Agogino, University of California at Berkeley
  • Ozgur Eris, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
  • Daniel Frey, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Larry Leifer, Stanford University
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engineering education is to graduate engineers who can design,and that design thinking is complex. The paper begins by brieflyreviewing the history and role of design in the engineeringcurriculum. Several dimensions of design thinking are thendetailed, explaining why design is hard to learn and harder still toteach, and outlining the research available on how well designthinking skills are learned. The currently most-favoredpedagogical model for teaching design, project-based learning(PBL), is explored next, along with available assessment data onits success. Two contexts for PBL are emphasized: first-yearcornerstone courses and globally dispersed PBL courses. Finally,the paper lists some of the open research questions that must beanswered to identify the best pedagogical practices of improvingdesign learning, after which it closes by making recommendationsfor research aimed at enhancing design learning.


© (2005) ASEE/JEE. This article appears in Journal of Engineering Education, volume 94, issue 1, pages 103-120 and may be found at

Citation Information
Clive Dym, Alice Agogino, Ozgur Eris, Daniel Frey, et al.. "Engineering Design Thinking, Teaching, and Learning" (2005)
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