Design & society: A general education experience for freshmen

Carol Hasenberg, Betsy Natter, Sukhwant Jhaj

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


As a part of its commitment for continuous program improvement, the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science of Portland State University (PSU), Portland, Oregon, has, in collaboration with the university's Freshman Inquiry Program, developed a year-long general education inquiry course titled Design & Society. This course is part of PSU's University Studies program, which uses a team-oriented, active-learning based approach to general education. In Design & Society students learn and apply design skills to solve real problems while also considering the related societal, cultural, and historical dimensions. The objectives of the course from the college's perspective were to give students an overview of and experience in design and design professions, give students an opportunity to do hands-on design projects, encourage students interested in majoring in design-related professions, including engineering, use pedagogical techniques from engineering, and introduce non engineering students to an engineer's way of understanding and creatively engaging with the world. With its emphasis on critical thinking, communication, diversity, and ethical issues and social responsibility, Design & Society was envisioned as a means of broadening the overview of the profession without needing to expand the current introductory course in engineering offered to engineering majors in an already full schedule. In addition, the course gives an opportunity for learning teamwork in a true multidisciplinary environment which is lacking in an all-engineering freshman course. As the course progresses assessment will be done using surveys and portfolio reviews.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2915-2921
Number of pages7
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event2005 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: The Changing Landscape of Engineering and Technology Education in a Global World - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Jun 12 2005Jun 15 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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