Abstract

The study presented here explores the influence that an educational intervention has on students in generating requirements during a design task. An experiment was performed in a fourth-year level mechanical engineering design course in which student participants are given a design problem for which they generated a list of requirements, a lecture on requirements in engineering design, and a second design problem for which they generated a second list of requirements. The results from the two problems were tested for determine whether the problems were similar in terms of variety and novelty of requirements generated. The effects of the lecture were evaluated by comparing results from the pre- and post-lecture activity with the two problems. Variety was assessed by sorting the individual requirements generated by each participant into eighteen categories. Novelty was evaluated on the level of uniqueness of the requirement against the complete set generated by all participants, based on both syntax and semantic filtering. The findings suggest that the lecture had a positive impact on the students in increasing the variety of the requirements generated individually by the participants. Further, all the identified novel requirements belonged to the activity performed after lecture.

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