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This contribution reports on, and evaluates, the use of a design project for enhancing student learning on a first year module in electrical engineering at Dublin Institute of Technology. The project objective, as outlined to the students, was to design and build a, possibly innovative, everyday device that can generate electricity from sources of “free energy”, so as to encourage first year engineering students to use their natural design creativity in a freeform, brainstorming manner. The project allows students to further develop their academic interests, assists student retention and facilitates student interaction, among other advantages. The work encourages students to appreciate that engineering is a creative activity, and helps bring some excitement and fun to the first year experience.
O'Dwyer :Enhancing learning on a first year engineering programme with a student design project. Novel Approaches to Promoting Student Engagement Workshop, University of Ulster, Coleraine, pp. 43-47.