Assessing idea fluency through the student design process

Molly Hathaway Goldstein, Şenay Purzer, Camilo Vieira Mejia, Mitch Zielinski, K. Anna Douglas

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


Engineering design is a complex activity for students to undertake and for instructors to assess. This research uses large learner data sets collected through automatic, unobtrusive logging of student actions in a CAD platform to address this difficulty in observing design behavior. We used a computer-aided design software that captured student design activities to investigate patterns of student design behaviors that are associated with idea fluency. We show how micro-level process data can be used to validate observations made from viewing the student design process through design replays. Students who engaged in high idea fluency showed evidence of fluency in both process data and design replays. Similar patterns were observed for low idea fluency students. There is great potential to investigate student design learning through system-collected data. Yet, how to justify the inferences made about students based on their process data is largely unexplored. Our results demonstrate how traditional forms of assessment data can be used to validate inferences made by process data. Implications of this work would be highly relevant to engineering educators as well as researchers who are interested in understanding the relationship between learner analytics and student learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationLaunching a New Vision in Engineering Education, FIE 2015 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479984534
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015 - El Paso, United States
Duration: Oct 21 2015Oct 24 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityEl Paso


  • assessment
  • clickstream data
  • creativity
  • engineering design
  • idea fluency
  • process data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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