Utilizing Generative AI as Learning Tools in Engineering Education

This design case study delves into freshman engineering students’ utilization of generative technologies in a software engineering course to learn C programming. The design case is a description of a real artifact or experience that has been intentionally designed. In my course, I introduced ChatGPT as a self-regulated learning tool and tasked students with understanding arrays in C programming within an open-ended structure using ChatGPT, providing minimal guidelines. While students typically received weekly practice problems, I designated one week for a “Pink Time Activity,” emphasizing the significance of self-regulated learning. During this week, students were free to choose any activity to replace their assignment. The Pink Time Activity, inspired by Daniel Pink’s book “Drive” (2011), encourages students to take a break from their regular schedule, pursue activities of their choice with guidance and self-assess based on specific criteria.