DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Kennea, Paul; Siena, Francesco Luke; Forbes, Christopher; Malcolm, Richard; Martin, Liam; Stewart, Joseph; Rodrigues, Carl; Pope, Daisy
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom
Section: Established, alternative and emerging educational paradigms to equip engineers and designers for future challenges
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.49
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


The everchanging technological and digital landscape of the Product Design and Product Design Engineering industry now requires graduates to have a wider range of skills and software knowledge. In particular, there is a need for enhanced skills focused on engineering computer aided design (CAD), virtual reality, 3D visualisation and rendering/animation. This has resulted in graduates requiring a more detailed and rigorous CAD and 3D visualisation syllabus to prepare them adequately for industry. With the increased pressures on delivering a wider range of software teaching alongside a greater range of hardware, the need for a good grounding and understanding of 2D/3D engineering CAD competencies is essential. Subsequently we have identified the need for enhanced engineering CAD teaching and learning within the higher education setting especially within the first-year product design curriculum. As such, there is the need to challenge established pedagogy and delivery methods with regards to CAD tuition in order to explore new delivery methods and alternative educational paradigms to allow educators to equip engineers and designers for future industry requirements. To enhance the CAD skills of product design students, the product design academic team at Nottingham Trent University have sought to accelerate the learning of core 2D/3D engineering CAD competencies within first year students by providing an accelerated learning program focussed on SolidWorks. This paper explores and reflects on the development of a ‘CAD Bash’, an accelerated teaching block of 2D/3D engineering CAD, utilizing SolidWorks and delivered in week two of the first year product design students higher education journey. Sixty-Two BSc Product Design first year students undertook eight 1.5-2-hour sessions over the course of a 15-hour accelerated synchronous teaching block during a single week. CAD Bash synchronous teaching was also supported by asynchronous content in the form of pre-recorded videos and prepared worksheets/guides. Prior to commencing ‘CAD Bash’, each student completed a Pre-CAD Bash skills audit to ascertain the student cohorts’ current knowledge/understanding of software programs, situated within Engineering CAD, such as SolidWorks. This survey helped inform the tutors on student prior knowledge allowing adjustments to the level of learning/content delivered. A Post-CAD Bash skills audit was then collected, providing insight into the effectiveness of the accelerated teaching block, thus informing CAD tuition for the remainder of the academic year. This paper also presents student feedback and the findings from CAD Bash to demonstrate the effectiveness and impact of an accelerated CAD teaching block focused on fundamental engineering CAD competencies. Finally, this paper will demonstrate how the delivery of an entire term’s worth of CAD tuition within a single week period not only prepared students better for future CAD learning but has also created room within the CAD syllabus to teach a wider range of software in more depth. Subsequently this has enhanced our entire three-year CAD syllabus for product design students and positively impacted student skill level thus providing greater placement and graduate opportunities in the future.

Keywords: 2D/3D Visualisation & Communication, Computer Aided Design (CAD), CAD Training & Competencies, Product Design Education, Skills Audit


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