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General Card #1834
Building Solutions for Real Customers
Updated: 6/21/2023 12:28 PM by Becky Benishek
Reviewed: 10/14/2022 3:16 PM by Michael Johnson
Students use the design process at a local nonprofit to create value for users
This is a sophomore level course in a sequence of EML core courses offered at Lawrence Technology University. Four sections are taught each semester. Each semester 65-80 students participate in the design studio. In this project based course, students work on teams of 3-4 and work through each step of the design process around a design theme. The current theme is “Accessibility in the Workplace.” Students identify opportunities to solve problems for real customers at a local non-profit. An emphasis is placed on creating solutions based on customers’ needs. Finally, students design, build, and test working prototypes that create value for these customers. This course meets twice a week for 2.5 hours each class period. This class works well for sections of about 20 students each that are able to meet in a dedicated studio that functions as a classroom as well as a maker space. It is important to have tools and resources to allow for multiple levels of prototyping throughout the semester.

In addition to building a prototype, the teams must manage a long term project, account for cost and market implications, and communicate to all stakeholders. Assessments are in the form of written, verbal, and public presentation formats. In the studio based format, the content needed for each stage of the design process is spread progressively through the course and delivered at the appropriate points in the design process when students are ready to apply the concepts.
Learning Objectives
1. Integrate information from a variety of sources to generate, screen, and select promising design opportunities that will create value for potential customers.
2. Assess and manage risk in design choices to organize, plan, and manage a long term engineering project within a team environment.
3. Explore prior and accepted solutions to identify and communicate the value of a unique design solution in terms of economic, personal, and societal value.
4. Describe the perspective of others in order to translate insight gained from customer feedback into design specifications at multiple stages in the design process.
5. Utilize and persist through a systematic design process in order to bring a unique design solution to fruition.
6. Identify and utilize technical tools and skills needed to test concepts quickly via customer engagement and develop a viable design solution.
7. Assess and manage cost, value, and market implications at all stages of development.
8. Communicate design status and results to all stakeholders in verbal, written, and public presentation formats at appropriate points in the development timeline.
Instructor Tips
- The opportunity to interact with these customers is critical
- Communication with the customer to obtain feedback at multiple stages in the structured design process is invaluable and takes place at site visits during scheduled class time.
- Have teams present milestones at customer workplace rather than in classroom to communicate their progress and gather feedback from stakeholders and other professionals
- Have an equal distribution between individual assignments and team scores
  • Demonstrate constant curiosity about our changing world
  • Explore a contrarian view of accepted solution
  • Integrate information from many sources to gain insight
  • Assess and manage risk
Creating Value
  • Identify unexpected opportunities to create extraordinary value
  • Persist through and learn from failure
  • Determine Design Requirements
  • Develop New Technologies
  • Perform Technical Design
  • Create Model or Prototype
  • Analyze Solutions
  • Validate Functions
  • Identify Opportunity
  • Evaluate Tech Feasibility, Customer Value, Societal Benefits & Economic Viability
  • Test Concepts via Customer Engagement
  • Communicate Solution in Economic Terms
  • Develop Partnerships & Build Team
  • Communicate Societal Benefits
Categories & Tags
  • Classroom & Courses
  • sophomore
  • General Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
The Instructor Notes folder includes introduction to the course, instructor reflections, and author requests.
Title Type Ext Date Size Download All Downloads
Introduction.pdf Instructor Notes .pdf 11/28/2017 87.4 KB 93
Instructor Reflections.pdf Instructor Notes .pdf 11/28/2017 349.9 KB 90
Author Requests.pdf Instructor Notes .pdf 11/28/2017 254.8 KB 83
Mapping to KEEN Framework Instructor Notes .pdf 1/10/2018 114.2 KB 90
The Course Context folder includes the basics of the course. This includes the syllabus, course process flowchart, learning objectives, and the student handbook for the course.
Title Type Ext Date Size Download All Downloads
Syllabus 2017.docx Syllabus .docx 11/28/2017 16.8 KB 103
Course Flowchart Description.pdf Instructor Notes .pdf 11/28/2017 125.5 KB 95
Learning Objectives.docx Instructor Notes .docx 11/28/2017 5.2 KB 89
Student Handbook.docx Instructor Notes .docx 11/28/2017 94.3 KB 91
This folder includes all of the handouts given to the students during the course.
Title Type Ext Date Size Download All Downloads
Accessibility Simulation Activity Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 82.8 KB 87
Brainwriting Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 282.9 KB 84
Bill of Materials and Supply Order Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 61.6 KB 82
Bisociation Bag of Stimuli Handout.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 310.7 KB 96
Concept Screening Matrix Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 312 KB 95
Opportunity Proposal Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 40.6 KB 86
Principles of Universal Design Poster Handout.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 509.7 KB 84
Concepts for Consideration Handout.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 77.9 KB 86
Product Development Economics Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 110 KB 83
Market Research Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 61.1 KB 90
Design Validation Plan Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 94.9 KB 84
Site Visit 1 Painstorming Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 67.9 KB 80
Team Charter Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 55.1 KB 85
Team Member Contact Info Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 54.7 KB 81
Team Mission Statement Handout.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 227.3 KB 87
Site Visit 2 Job Map and Feedback Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 59.2 KB 82
ThinkerToys Concept Generation Handout.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 97.8 KB 86
Target Specification Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 84.3 KB 89
Sprint 3 In-Class Consulting Prep Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 106.4 KB 85
Sprint 1 In-Class Consulting Prep Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 52.5 KB 86
Sprint 2 In-Class Consulting Prep Worksheet.pdf Activity / Handout .pdf 11/28/2017 83.4 KB 85
This folder includes all rubrics for the course.
Title Type Ext Date Size Download All Downloads
Sprint 1 Guidelines and Rubric F2017.pdf Assessment / Rubric .pdf 11/28/2017 196.2 KB 93
Final Expo Rubric F2017.pdf Assessment / Rubric .pdf 11/28/2017 230.6 KB 89
Project Pitch Rubric F2017.pdf Assessment / Rubric .pdf 11/28/2017 193.8 KB 89
Sprint 2 Guidelines and Rubric F2017.pdf Assessment / Rubric .pdf 11/28/2017 198.2 KB 90
Course Point Distribution F2017.pdf Assessment / Rubric .pdf 11/28/2017 70.4 KB 89
Final Binder Check F2017.pdf Assessment / Rubric .pdf 11/28/2017 63.9 KB 91
Final Paper Rubric F2017.pdf Assessment / Rubric .pdf 11/28/2017 70.3 KB 88
This folder has all of the powerpoints used in the course.
Title Type Ext Date Size Download All Downloads
Module 1 F2017.pdf Presentation .pdf 11/28/2017 4.2 MB 95
Sprint 1 F2017.pdf Presentation .pdf 11/28/2017 5.7 MB 90
Sprint 2 F2017.pdf Presentation .pdf 11/28/2017 3.5 MB 88
Sprint 4 F2017.pdf Presentation .pdf 11/28/2017 231.3 KB 84
Sprint 3 F2017.pdf Presentation .pdf 11/28/2017 2.1 MB 94
This folder includes student work and pictures of the class.
Title Type Ext Date Size Download All Downloads
Student Project Summary S2017 Student Artifact / Example 11/28/2017 -  
Student Artifacts.pdf Student Artifact / Example .pdf 11/28/2017 553.4 KB 139
Videos and Pictures.pdf Student Artifact / Example .pdf 11/28/2017 407.3 KB 137
This folder includes publications about the course.
Title Type Ext Date Size Download All Downloads
ASEE 2016 Paper.pdf Other .pdf 11/28/2017 842.9 KB 108
ASEE 2017 Paper.pdf Other .pdf 11/28/2017 421.4 KB 110
KEENzine: Stepping up to the 3Cs Other 10/6/2020 -