Assessment of product archaeology as a framework for contextualizing engineering design

Kemper Lewis, Deborah A. Moore-Russo, Ann McKenna, Phillip M. Cormier, Amy Johnson, Adam Carberry, Wei Chen, David W. Gatchell, Timothy W. Simpson, Conrad Tucker, Gul E. Okudan Kremer, Sarah E. Zappe, Steven B. Shooter, Charles Kim, Christopher B. Williams, Lisa D. McNair, Marie C. Paretti, Joe Tranquillo

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

3 Scopus citations


Product archaeology refers to the process of reconstructing the lifecycle of a product to understand the decisions that led to its development and has been used as an educational framework for promoting students' consideration of the broader impacts of engineering on people, economics, and the environment. As a result, product archaeology offers students an opportunity to reconstruct and understand the customer requirements, design specifications, and manufacturing processes that led to the development and production of a product. This paper describes: 1) the identification and development of assessment tools for evaluating the impact of product archaeology, 2) the implementation of the product archaeology framework during two recent academic year semesters in undergraduate engineering courses at all levels across six universities, and 3) assessment results with evidence of the effectiveness of the product archaeology framework. This project uses existing survey instruments, including the Engineer of 2020 survey and the engineering design self-efficacy instrument to assess positive student attitudes and perceptions about engineering. Our assessment plan also uses two newlydeveloped design scenarios. These scenarios require students to respond to open-ended descriptions of real-world engineering problems to assess students' ability to extend and refine knowledge of broader contexts. Emerging pre- Test/post- Test comparison data reveal that the product archaeology activities lead to more positive student ratings of both their own knowledge of broader contexts and their self-efficacy regarding engineering design. Analysis of the design scenarios (used to assess students' ability to apply contextual knowledge to engineering design situations) includes results from the Spring and Fall 2013 semesters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
StatePublished - 2014
Event121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education - Indianapolis, IN, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2014Jun 18 2014


Other121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityIndianapolis, IN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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