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ERIC Number: EJ1053289
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2153-2516
Introducing Creativity in a Design Laboratory for a Freshman Level Electrical and Computer Engineering Course
Burkett, Susan L.; Kotru, Sushma; Lusth, John C.; McCallum, Debra; Dunlap, Sarah
American Journal of Engineering Education, v5 n1 p11-26 2014
Dunlap, The University of Alabama, USA ABSTRACT In the electrical and computer engineering (ECE) curriculum at The University of Alabama, freshmen are introduced to fundamental electrical concepts and units, DC circuit analysis techniques, operational amplifiers, circuit simulation, design, and professional ethics. The two credit course has both lecture and laboratory components that address these topics. The laboratory has been used, in this project, to provide students an experience in design. In one of the laboratory assignments, students work in teams to design and build products giving attention to both function and aesthetics. Creativity is an important attribute for engineers practicing their profession in a global society. The creative process was exercised in the design lab by progressively engaging students through various stages including: brainstorming, formation of a construction plan, producing schematic representations, and implementing their design. In a twoyear period, four laboratory exercises were developed to provide design experiences in our introductory ECE course. Assessment results show that the majority of students enjoy several aspects of the laboratory on design and creativity. At the same time, they consider this lab to be one of the most difficult ones due to its open-ended nature. Students who experienced the creative lab were somewhat more likely to state they would continue in their major. Overall, the project team concluded that the creative lab was valuable and did raise awareness of the creative process.
Clute Institute. 6901 South Pierce Street Suite 239, Littleton, CO 80128. Tel: 303-904-4750; Fax: 303-978-0413; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE-0837226