The Design Research Methodology as a Framework for the Development of a Tool for Engineering Design Education
Some educators believe that engineering design students in these times are less prepared to do well in engineering, since they lack the experience and intuition that develops from "hands-on" activities from adolescent years. At the same time, other educators declare that “To teach and study engineering design can be difficult sometimes, especially when transforming theoretical knowledge into practice” , these two arguments can be logically related and support the need to provide high quality handson experiences to students. Kolb’s model of learning states that concrete and practical experience can be obtained through product dissection activities , also known as D/A/A activities (disassemble, analyze, assemble) or more generally as reverse engineering since these activities help reduce the gap between theory and practice in experimental learning environments. To address this issue the author is developing as part of his doctoral research a guiding manual to help engineering design professors implement reverse engineering activities adapted to the requirements of a curriculum in engineering design e.g. specific learning objectives, fundamentals, methodologies, test materials and feedback mechanisms. This project will require the documentation of the theoretical background behind handson activities in education and the technical and methodological knowledge needed to conduct reverse engineering exercises so the project’s hypotheses can be tested and the research questions answered. Throughout this paper, the descriptions and definitions from authors Blessing and Chakrabarti’s book on a design research methodology  are presented, along with the comments and experiences obtained while using their framework for the conduction of this research project.