This engineering education research project seeks to understand how experts model engineered products and system in computer aided design (CAD). By drawing from expertise from industry that both design and uses CAD tools, the project will investigate how to teach students CAD skills that can readily transfer between CAD platforms, thus helping create a more effective engineering workforce.
The broader significance and importance of this project stems from the fact that computer aided design is a fundamental skill in many engineering disciplines, where students are expected to become CAD experts. The project also engages students from a predominately minority institution in order to make sure the findings can be broadly applied across a wide spectrum of engineering programs. This project overlaps with NSF's strategic goals of transforming the frontiers through preparation of an engineering workforce with new capabilities and expertise. Additionally NSF's goal of innovating for society is enabled by supporting the development of innovative learning systems.