Testing of synthesis skills

Project manager:Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stephan Husung

Project duration: 01.06.2022 - 30.06.2024

Contact: Stephan Husung,Uwe Hirte, Department of Product and System Development, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Ilmenau University of Technology

Brief description

The development of new products is characterized by the fact that technical solutions have to be worked out on the basis of specific requirements and boundary conditions, which have not existed in this form before. The technical term synthesis is used for this. In order to build up the associated competencies in students, targeted or competency-oriented teaching and examination formats are necessary that convey and test crucial aspects of synthesis with its procedures, product descriptions and calculations. Today, the examination is mainly carried out in the form of concrete practical seminar and document tasks (during the semester) as well as during the written presence examinations in the form of smaller synthesis tasks, which the students work on alone or in groups. The picture shows a highly simplified example of a synthesis task.


Figure 1: Simplified synthesis example for a positioning device (left: task, right: functional structure and technical principle).

The aim of the concept proposed here is to test synthesis competencies for product development directly using digital examination formats. These digital examinations can be used as a substitute for presence examinations if presence is not possible. Through the digital and content-based offerings with varying degrees of difficulty, students also have the opportunity to use the digital synthesis exams for semester-long self-evaluation adapted to their individual learning progress. In addition, further added value results from the possibility of incorporating multimedia formats into an assignment, e.g. in the form of interactive 3D content or short videos.

For the digital synthesis exam, students must be able to work out solutions to set tasks independently and map them digitally. An evaluation can be done partly automatically by rules, patterns etc. in the examination tool or by the examiner. For this purpose, the modeling results are transmitted to the examiners.