A study of biologically-inspired design as a context for enhancing student innovation

Brent A Nelson, Jamal Wilson, Jeannette Yen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article describes an investigation of the use of biologically-inspired design as a context from which to teach innovative design. The research compared ideation behavior among mechanical engineering students from a capstone design class to mechanical engineering students who had taken a semester-long course specifically focused on biologicallyinspired design. Both groups of students were presented with the same design challenge, and pre-established metrics were used to characterize the novelty and variety of the resultant designs generated by the students. The designs from the biologically-inspired design students had an average novelty score 80% higher than those from the control group of capstone students, and the result was statistically- significant. The biologically-inspired design students also had a 37% higher average variety score, although a small sample size led to a high variance and prevented statistical significance. The increased scores for novelty and variety imply a greater tendency toward innovative design among the biologically-inspired design students. The source of greater innovation is unclear but may be due to improved analogical reasoning capabilities among the biologically-inspired design students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Event39th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Imagining and Engineering Future CSET Education, FIE 2009 - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Oct 18 2009Oct 21 2009

Other

Other39th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Imagining and Engineering Future CSET Education, FIE 2009
CountryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period10/18/0910/21/09

Fingerprint

Innovation
Students
innovation
student
mechanical engineering
Mechanical engineering
statistical significance
semester
Group

Keywords

  • Design
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Ideation
  • Innovation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software
  • Education

Cite this

Nelson, B. A., Wilson, J., & Yen, J. (2009). A study of biologically-inspired design as a context for enhancing student innovation. In Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE [5350871] https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2009.5350871

A study of biologically-inspired design as a context for enhancing student innovation. / Nelson, Brent A; Wilson, Jamal; Yen, Jeannette.

Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE. 2009. 5350871.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Nelson, BA, Wilson, J & Yen, J 2009, A study of biologically-inspired design as a context for enhancing student innovation. in Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE., 5350871, 39th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Imagining and Engineering Future CSET Education, FIE 2009, San Antonio, TX, United States, 10/18/09. https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2009.5350871
Nelson BA, Wilson J, Yen J. A study of biologically-inspired design as a context for enhancing student innovation. In Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE. 2009. 5350871 https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2009.5350871
Nelson, Brent A ; Wilson, Jamal ; Yen, Jeannette. / A study of biologically-inspired design as a context for enhancing student innovation. Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE. 2009.
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