Situated cognition theory describes the context of a learning activity’s effect on learner’s cognition. In this paper, we use situated cognition theory to examine the effect of product dissection on product redesign activities. Two specific research questions are addressed: 1) Does situated cognition, in the form of product dissection, improve product functionality during redesign exercise?, and 2) Does situated cognition, again in the form of product dissection, affect the creativity during product redesign? In this study, three sections of first-year students in two different locations – The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) – performed product redesign using coffee makers. The redesigned products have been analyzed with respect to both depth (detail level) and creativity. Based on our results, we find that situated cognition, in the form of product dissection, improves product functionality during redesign and positively affects creativity. The implications of these results are also discussed.
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