Design-Based Engineering Learning: A Future of Learning
Education Research

Design-Based Engineering Learning: A Future of Learning

Lina Wei Wei Zhang and Chenhua Lin conducted a recent study on the effectiveness of design-based engineering learning. The mediating role of cognitive engagement and the moderating role of modes of engagement. It determined that DEEL produced better learning outcome as compared to other learning practices. This article explores the possible reasons for it.

Design Based engineering learning

Engaging students in project-based, hands-on activities where they apply engineering concepts. Design thinking to resolve practical issues is the basis of design-based engineering instruction. This method places a strong emphasis on teamwork, experiential learning, and critical thinking. On the other side, psychology investigates human behaviour, cognition, and motivationoffers helpful insights into how students discover, comprehend, and interact with engineering design projects.

Study Findings

This study stated that the four DBEL features, namely Design practice, interactive reflection, knowledge integration, and circular iteration were all found to have significant and advantageous effects on learning outcomes. The links between these qualities and the results of engineering learning were also found to be wholly and partially mediated by cognitive engagement; under two distinct modes of engagement, the beneficial effects of the learning features on cognitive engagement varied noticeably. Thereby stating that DEEL produced better learning outcome as compared to other studies.

Possible Factors

The possible reason for the DBEL to produces better learning outcome are:

1. Active and hands-on learning

DBEL involves students in project-based, hands-on activities where they actively use engineering concepts and design thinking to address issues in the real world. Compared to passive learning techniques like lectures or reading, this active learning strategy encourages a deeper grasp and recall of information. By actively participating in the design process, students gain a deeper comprehension of engineering principles and how they are used in real-world situations.

2. Theory and practice

DBEL combines academic understanding with real-world application. Students not only learn the fundamental engineering principles, but they also put them into practice via design projects. By relating theoretical information to practical issues, students are better able to appreciate it. What they are learning and recognise its relevance and practical applications.

3. Critical Thinking

DBEL encourages the development of critical thinking abilities, such as problem-solving, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Students are exposed to open-ended challenges through design projects, which forces them to exercise critical thought, gather and analyse data, come up with original ideas, and assess the success of those answers. These mental processes help kids develop higher-order thinking abilities, which helps them become better problem solvers and analytical thinkers.

4. Collaboration and teamwork

DBEL frequently entails cooperative teamwork. Students who collaborate with one another can gain from collective intelligence, share different viewpoints, and learn from one another. Collaboration improves teamwork, fosters communication skills, and exposes pupils to a variety of viewpoints. In the engineering field, where effective project completion depends on teamwork, these interpersonal skills are crucial.

5. Learning that is authentic and contextualized

DBEL offers students learning that is authentic and contextualised. Students get a deeper knowledge of the practical applications of engineering ideas. As well as the restrictions and considerations involved in actual projects by working on design problems from the real world. Students are motivated by this authenticity and are better able to understand the value of what they are learning, which increases engagement and improves learning outcomes.

6. Emotional and motivating factors

By giving students the chance to work on important and personally relevant design projects, DBEL engages students’ intrinsic motivation. Their sense of autonomy and ownership during the design process, together with the potential significance of their solutions, may increase their commitment to and motivation for learning. Students that are driven are more likely to put up the effort necessary to succeed, keep going when things become tough, and produce greater learning outcomes.

These elements work together to make DBEL more effective at improving learning outcomes. DBEL fosters critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and contextualised learning by offering an active, experiential, collaborative learning environment that combines theory and practise. As a result, students gain a deeper understanding of engineering concepts and their real-world applications.

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