Creating New Design-Build-Test Experiences as Outputs of Undergraduate Design-Build-Test Projects

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This paper describes a methodology of using individual engineering undergraduate student projects as a means of effectively and efficiently developing new Design-Build-Test (DBT) learning experiences and challenges.
A key aspect of the rationale for this approach is that it benefits all parties. The student undertaking the individual project gets an authentic experience of producing a functional artefact, which has been the result of a design process that addresses conception, design, implementation and operation. The supervising faculty member benefits from live prototyping of new curriculum content and resources with a student who is at a similar level of knowledge and experience as the intended end users of the DBT outputs. The multiple students who ultimately undertake the DBT experiences / challenges benefit from the enhanced nature of a learning experience which has been “road tested” and optimised.
To demonstrate the methodology the paper will describe a case study example of an individual project completed in 2015. This resulted in a DBT design challenge with a theme of designing a catapult for throwing table tennis balls, the device being made from components laser cut from medium density fibreboard (MDF). Further three different modes of operation will be described which use the same resource materials but operate over different timescales and with different learning outcomes, from an icebreaker exercise focused on developing team dynamics through to full DBT where students get an opportunity to experience the full impact of their design decisions by competing against other students with a catapult they have designed and built themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th International CDIO Conference, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-216-610-4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2016
Event12th International CDIO Conference - Turku University of Applied Sciences, Turku, Finland
Duration: 12 Jun 201616 Jun 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International CDIO Conference
ISSN (Print)2002-1593
ISSN (Electronic)1796-9964


Conference12th International CDIO Conference
Internet address


  • Design-Build-Test, Project-Based-Learning
  • Design-Build-Test


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