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A Global Collaboration To Teach Global Product Development: Faculty Perspectives

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Faculty Involvement in International Engineering Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.46.1 - 11.46.11



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Paper Authors

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Jongwon Kim Seoul National University

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Dong Mok Kim Seoul National University

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Stefano Consiglio Technical University of Berlin

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Semih Severengiz Technical University of Berlin

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Guenther Seliger Technical University of Berlin

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Lalit Patil University of Michigan

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Debasish Dutta University of Michigan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Global Collaboration to Teach Global Product Development: Faculty perspectives

1 Introduction

In this age of globalization and diversification, it is important that our engineering students understand how to work effectively across cultural and geographic boundaries and exploit the intellectual diversities within a global team. Global Product Development (GPD) is a graduate course that was created because the instructors felt that one has to experience the challenges and rewards of working in a global team in order to understand it. Graduate students from the University of Michigan, Technical University of Berlin and Seoul National University study and experience the global development of products for global markets. GPD has been offered every Fall semester since 2000. Using videoconferencing, Groove Virtual Office for collaboration and other Internet-based tools a “global” classroom is created connecting Ann Arbor (USA), Berlin (Germany) and Seoul (South Korea). In addition to lectures on product development and engineering, guest speakers from different countries speak on diverse topics (e.g., culturally appropriate innovation, global branding, intellectual property and product liability, etc.) that are equally important to consider in such ventures. The students work in global teams throughout the semester and participate in two weeklong face-to-face meetings along with the faculty.

GPD is a collaboration experience not only for the students, but also for the faculty involved. Each university has a primary faculty member in charge of the course, a few participating faculty and an assistant (sometimes a senior research student of the primary faculty). Significant collaboration amongst faculty is necessary to determine almost every detail of the course, including the semester project, the associated lectures, project-relevant assignments, design reviews and overall grading strategies. The participating universities not only have different semester schedules, but also different guidelines and practices that pose significant challenges for the participating faculty. However, the course has been successfully offered each year since its inception in Fall 2000 and on each campus there is a strong student demand for this course.

The development of the initial content and format of this course took more than a year1,2,3. This is not uncommon for special courses. However, several issues have to be addressed in order to sustain such a course in the long term. These include the following: 1. How can such a course be integrated within the existing curriculum of three different universities? 2. How should students who have some basic skills in handling the challenges of distributed project work? 3. What are the financial requirements for this course and how can they be met? 4. How should infrastructure be used and maintained in such a “high-technology’’ course? 5. How should evaluation and assessment be done consistent with the grading policies of three different institutions? 6. How can faculty from three universities collaborate effectively in a distributed global team?

This paper elaborates on these issues and how they have been addressed by the participating faculty from University of Michigan (UM), Technical University of Berlin (TUB) and Seoul

Kim, J., & Kim, D. M., & Consiglio, S., & Severengiz, S., & Seliger, G., & Patil, L., & Dutta, D. (2006, June), A Global Collaboration To Teach Global Product Development: Faculty Perspectives Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--355

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