International Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD) (7th : 2015)

Development of a case-based teaching module to improve student understanding of stakeholder engagement processes within engineering systems design Flynn, Carli D.; Squier, Mallory; Davidson, Cliff I.


This paper introduces a case-based teaching module designed to increase student understanding of the importance of stakeholder engagement processes in the design of complex engineering systems. The teaching module makes use of a case study on past technology adoption and environmental injustices related to stormwater management plans in Onondaga County, NY. The module begins with a review of the history of events in the County, including social unrest when the needs of certain stakeholder groups were ignored. Students are then divided into groups, each representing an assigned stakeholder community. The students predict what engineering designs will most directly affect their stakeholder group and how each design solution may impact other groups. An assessment tool is used to gauge the students’ perceptions of stakeholder engagement and engineering design after the teaching module. Results demonstrate that the module effectively increased student understanding of the complexities related to the engineering design process, particularly stakeholder engagement activities. The module also improved student motivation and interest in course material. These results provide insights for instructors seeking effective ways to bring stakeholder concerns into the classroom.

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