The Impact of Design Thinking PBL Robot Course on College Students' Learning Motivation and Creative Thinking

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Abstract

Contribution: Prior studies have shown that project-based learning (PBL) is an effective approach on engineering education. This study further identifies the impact of a design thinking (DT) integrated PBL approach on the college students' learning motivation and creativity. Background: A well-developed robot and its project often require interdisciplinary knowledge, such as design and technology, and interdisciplinary team collaboration to optimize the requirements of desirability and viability for developing products. The current study systematically embeds the elements of DT and PBL on a robot design course. Intended Outcomes: The DT PBL approach can improve the student's learning motivation and creativity in developing robots for engineering students. Application Design: A quasi-experimental design was used. Eighteen participants were assigned to the experimental group, whereas 23 participants were assigned to the comparison group. While the elements of DT and PBL were embedded into and delivered for the experimental group, the comparison group used a PBL-only approach. Findings: Evidence collected from quantitative survey/tests and qualitative interviews indicates that: 1) the experimental group outperformed the comparison group in overall learning motivation, and its subscales (task value and self-efficacy). The project enabled them to reflect on the insufficiency of required expertise and skills, which also helped them to learn more effectively and efficiently and 2) the experimental group outperformed the comparison group in overall creativity and its subscales (fluency, originality, and flexibility). The experimental group students can think faster, consider the problem through multiple perspectives, and come out with more creative ideas.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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