Why do students present different design objectives in engineering design projects?

Szu Chun Fan, Kuang Chao Yu*, Shi Jer Lou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Engineering design practice has been recognized as an effective approach to engage students in STEM learning. However, we noticed that students who possessed strong STEM knowledge did not necessarily perform well on their design projects. Thus, this study sought to explore factors that shaped students’ design objectives and means. A design-based research was adopted using a single group teaching experiment, in which students’ performance in relation to conceptual knowledge, engineering design practice, and their STEM attitudes were assessed in different design complexity groups. Based on the findings of this study, we concluded that students’ interest and metacognitive skills might be the key factors affecting their motivation during the engineering design process. Their abilities in predictive analysis and testing/revising were core elements affecting their design thinking. Our work provides preliminary evidence on how students form and present different design purposes and objectives in an engineering design project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1060
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Design Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1


  • Design purpose
  • Engineering design
  • Integrative STEM curriculum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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