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This paper is focused on the learning experiences knowledge and skills gained as an engineering student. It involves reflections personal achievements as well as expectations that were either met or gone unnoticed both in the lecture room under the instructor's guidance and those that I came across during the course of my study. In this paper I view my times in college as a quest faced by many ups and downs, all of which go a long way to define the experience gained during the stipulated period.
There are many areas of concern in design especially the use of CAD in technical drawing. Students should embrace team work in they are to achieve desired results .peer assessment is a student centred mode of learning as students are given a chance to rank themselves in various areas during their team work activities.
Writing of reflective journals is equally important. It helps the student to improve his or her writing skills as well as manifest the creativity. In oral representation, the student should maintain eye contact, have confidence, involve the audience by asking questions, practice and plan before the actual presentation.
Engineering design is a broad area that involves various facets that includes the following; the evolution and history of design, the steps involved in a design process, the importance of suitable sketching techniques, measurement techniques and tools used in engineering design, and the use of the recognized tools and techniques to innovate or devise solutions to problems. I was able to learn many design processes that guide professionals during their work in developing solutions to problems. They are able to achieve this by defining the problem, brainstorming through, proper researching, identifying requirements, exploring potential, selecting the correct approach, developing the design proposal, building a model or prototype, testing, refining, construction, and communicating outcome.
The portfolio provides documented evidence demonstrating that the learning outcomes for the subject have been achieved. A design concept starts as a picture in an individual's mind and is then drafted onto a sketchpad or whiteboard. The drafted sketch is then turned into a design drawing. This is called the drafting process
This unit of study aims to provide basic outcomes in the engineering design where you can use the computer aided design programmes in helping to come up with a portfolio structure, such as the Archicad and AutoCAD which assists in the design.
Systematic approach to engineering design
Systematic approach has proven successful in training contemporary engineering students. It is employed when an understanding of broader system is needed. System approach is a field in engineering focusing on designing managing the life cycle of the projects (O'Shaughnessy, 1991). It overlaps with both technical and human centered disciplines in engineering such as control engineering and project management. Systematic approach helps in creating and evaluating in early stages the project evaluation and communication of team members in the same design. It begins with questions and end with techniques .the greatest contribution of the approach lies in its ability to capture the design through chain reasoning and highlighting dependency among the functions of a design.im my design I used top down design. In appendix 3 there is a chart.
Find, organize and evaluate information on a range of topics related to problems in engineering design
Engineering students should have the concept generation and its evaluation. For instance; exploring many solutions they need to brain storm as teams. They should select the best solution based on needs and constrains. Creativity when thinking of new idea should not be forgotten either. Innovation make the creative ideas become reality
Exploring for many options
Selecting best solution
Based on client needs and constrains
Developing of new ideas
Bring creative ideas into reality
Infusing creativity into design has some barrier which includes fear of failure, limitation of the project space and biasness. There to bypass the barriers there should be lateral thinking by the student.
Identify and evaluate technical, environmental, social and economic factors impacting on their solutions of engineering design problems
The element of cost constrain is a major problem. Students limit the creativity because of the cost implications. Cost of implementing some research designs is too high. When coming up with the design the student should evaluate the project impact on the environment. This wastes a lot of time. Some designs may incorporate ideas with patent rights or plagiarized pieces of information. This may have serious legal implications on design. Some designs are bio-hazardous to both the handlers and the general population. Some products can only produced in small scale. Their manufacturability is low due to the low demand from the general population. Political stability of a country may strongly influence the outcomes of the design
Use computer-aided design (CAD) software to develop and present design solutions
Computer Aided designs (CAD) is of computer soft ware in the developing, modifying analyzing and optimizing a design. It creates technical drawing with the use of a computer.CAD improves the quality of and communications in the design. CADs are used as electronic draft board. Designing in 2 dimensions is simple but it allows some cheating. Designing in 3 dimensions is hard and consumes a lot of time. Example: when designing the shape of a computer mouse, in 2 dimensions is done by specifying the cross-sectional dimensions of the computer mouse at various points along the mouse. Coming up with the prototype of the mouse is by done by connecting the cross-section dimensions by straight lines.
Reflective writing involves students writing about experiences, thoughts, feelings; opinions about what they are studying about. It is subjective in nature. It gives students a chance to develop and reinforce their writing skills. Reflective writing should not just convey information. It should not be straight forward decision. Students should be personal, hypothetical and creative. It uses descriptive words such as what, when, who, how, why among others. Slang words such as kiddos, cribs, Muller among others should be avoided at all cost.
There are various types of reflective writing some of which will be used in the engineering design. They include; journals, learning diary, log books, reflective notes, essay diary, reflective, essay diary, peer review, self-assessment among others.
Good students should clarify their task and liaise with their tutors after checking the course outline.
It's important before embarking on writing; one should think and reflect on the topic at hand after which he/she should gather ideas. Through mind mapping, students should be able to structure their ideas. Mind mapping involves drawing ideas on construct branches.
Formal technical writing
Students should write formal technical report keeping in mind that the document is important. There are six components that should included in report namely; abstract, introduction, discussion, conclusion, future work and appendix.
Abstract part is made up of summary of the general purpose and main findings. Introduction part has the literature review, objectives, scope of the project and theory development. Discussion part has the full description of the project, approach used, presentation and analysis of results. Conclusion part has the summary of the results .future work segment has the recommendation. Appendix has the evidence to support the whole study.
Students should proofread to check out any grammatical mistakes in their reports.
A good oral presentation is a combination of actions which will be discussed at large. Confidence is very vital in presentation because it allows for clear and descriptive presentations. Maintaining eye contact with the audience allows reading their mood and to know whether they are listening. Using of clear and simple language allows the audience to understand without straining. Long presentations can cause the audience to sleep or lose focus. It's important to involve the audience by asking questions and cracking jokes to ease the sober mood.
Ability to learn individually and collaboratively in a team environment
Engineering projects require diverse skills. This call for creation of teams should select member based on their level of technical, problem solving and interpersonal skill. I used my leadership skills to be the team leader guided my team through decision making. We made decisions based on the majority and consensus. I learnt the following; listening actively, constructively criticizing ideas not the people, managing conflicts effectively, respecting the absentees and communicating my ideas effectively. Through the teams we came up with tangible results. We held effective meetings and assigned duties and assignments.
Use a personal reflective journal
One of the new concepts I learnt this week about engineering design lesson with my class is that they really enjoy engineering. Before I gave an oral presentation in my class, we discussed the tips on how to improve oral presentation. I found out I already had background knowledge. The next step was to give my sentiments to the class. We then discussed as a group. After several consultations and brainstorming, we talked about each and everyone's weakness in oral presentation. We then joked on our mistakes. The oral presentation tips are now on a large chart in the classroom and are part of the materials the students can and do read.
I learnt a lot although there are issues our tutor said I didn't I agree with at heart but I nodded to please him. The next time I prepare power point presentations I will follow our tutor's guidelines.
Respond to divers learning situations in a socially and culturally responsible manner
I learnt that people have different ways of solving crises and conflicts. This is strongly influenced by their social and cultural backgrounds. During hierarchal assigning of duties, some people were co-operative while others were not. We had to choose our words carefully during our interactions to avoid conflicts. In order to eliminate the barrier of culture, we maintained professionalism. I noticed that when it comes to decision making, majority of us worked well with consensus. Some of the members in our team had poor social skills. They maintained silence during our team meetings. As their team leader, I had to create a conducive climate so that everybody could feel free to contribute his or her idea.
This is assessment of student work by other student. This may be used for grading purposes. Peer assessment helps students to evaluate their own learning. Its increase feedback to students, reduce marking load for tutors and gives students some sense of owner ship of the assessment.It makes students to be more involved in their learning process. However there are many disadvantages this includes: some students fear discrimination and victimization by other students. Some students may not take the assessment seriously .some students may over grade and over rate the assessment hence compromising the quality of the whole activity. There is a table in appendix 1
Engineering design is a very interesting area of study. It encompasses a lot of activities. As a student, I have learnt a lot especially when we formed teams. I learnt that by working together we can learn a lot. I also learnt to constructively criticize ideas not the people just to mention a few. Peer review is also another interesting area.
Students are given an opportunity to assess each other. A good oral presentation should be well planned. A good orator maintains eye contact, involves the audience and has confidence, use appropriate demonstrational tools, use visuals effectively, prepare and practices among other. Use of CAD is very important in engineering design when preparing technical drawings. It improves the quality of and communications in the design (O'Shaughnessy, 1991).
By relying on students to assess their fellow students, there can be distortion in the study as students would want to bring elements of friendship in the peer assessment by providing false information. Uses of personal reflective journals are important because students tend to improve their writing skills among other benefits hence should be adopted in other area as well.
Students should avoid coming up with high cost constrained designs because it limits their creativity and innovations. Students without the knowledge to use CAD should make an effort of learning especially in the production of three dimensions diagrams.
Appendix 1: Peer assessment evaluation form
The following are the statements to be answered fellow students
A-strongly agree B-agree C-disagree D-strongly disagree
Attended meetings regularly
Did the task assigned to him
Contributed ideas during the team meetings
Was cooperative in team
Did his work accurately and honestly
Overall was the valuable member of the team
Was a team player
Appendix 2: reflective journal
This week I have learnt about peer assessment, its advantages and disadvantages. The tutor was so categorical when he was discussing peer assessment. A member of our team posed a question to our tutor about the shortcomings of peer assessment overshadows the merits. I totally agree with his opinion. Our tutor puts it clear that indeed students are being given a chance to own the assessment. I take an initiative of preparing peer assessment evaluation form for my team members to fill.