“Design Thinking” is Happening in Engineering 1500

Design thinking focuses on encouraging students to brainstorm, prototype and reward out-of-the-box thinking, take “wild ideas” and transform them into real world solutions.

The Engineering 1500 freshman course was designed to do just that! Professor Afsaneh Ghanavati, Electrical and Computer Engineering, in conjunction with LIT, have brought Active Learning (AL) along with experiential learning into the classroom. Students participate in identifying their learning styles, how to work in groups, and push boundaries necessary for creative thinking.

Experience is a natural process that engages students’ learning styles. Kolb’s Learning Style inventory describes the way you learn and how you deal with ideas and day-to-day situations. Students first complete the Kolb Learning Style Inventory to identify their preferred learning styles. Students then participated in a LEGO activity observing their learning styles to get a better understanding of how their style influences their problem solving. And finally, they build a balloon powered car in teams to observe their learning styles when working with others who have different styles.

The Engineering 1500 brings Design Thinking to the forefront of the engineering process. These students are learning the importance of incorporating empathy into the design equation by developing and understanding the needs of the people they are designing products or services for. They are learning how to take problems and apply a human-centric component to their projects.

To learn more about Kolb’s Learning Styles, contact Learning Innovation & Technology (LIT) at lit@wit.edu or visit us at Beatty Hall, room 318.