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A Hybrid Approach to Team-forming for Capstone Design Projects

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Design Teams 2

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34008

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34008

Download Count

28

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Paper Authors

biography

Peter Schuster California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Peter Schuster earned a B.A. in Physics from Cornell University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. He worked at Ford Motor Company as a design engineer and technical specialist for ten years before transitioning into academia. He is currently a professor in Mechanical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where he coordinates the capstone design program. His research interests include design theory, stress analysis, and biomechanics.

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biography

Brian P. Self California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Brian Self obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech, and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Utah. He worked in the Air Force Research Laboratories before teaching at the U.S. Air Force Academy for seven years. Brian has taught in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo since 2006. During the 2011-2012 academic year he participated in a professor exchange, teaching at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. His engineering education interests include collaborating on the Dynamics Concept Inventory, developing model-eliciting activities in mechanical engineering courses, inquiry-based learning in mechanics, and design projects to help promote adapted physical activities. Other professional interests include aviation physiology and biomechanics.

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Eltahry Elghandour California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Eltahry Elghandour earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science
degrees from the Mechanical Design Department of the University of Helwan,
Cairo, Egypt in 1989. He later earned his Philosophy of Doctor in Engineering
degree from the Mechanical Engineering Department at California Polytechnic
State University, San Luis Obispo and University of Helwan, Cairo, Egypt in
1995. His expertise is in composite materials analysis and manufacture, fatigue
and fracture mechanics, and advanced finite element analysis.

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Lauren Anne Cooper California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Lauren Cooper earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a research emphasis in Engineering Education from University of Colorado Boulder. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Her research interests include project-based learning, student motivation, human-centered design, and the role of empathy in engineering teaching and learning.

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Abstract

One of the challenges for capstone design instructors is forming equitable, balanced, and appropriately-skilled student teams to work on projects for the year. For most capstone programs, there are three main parts of this process: identification of projects, presentation of projects to students, and selection of student teams. This paper will focus on the third step, with some discussion of techniques for the first and second. While there is significant useful research about the best ways to form student teams, capstone design team formation has unique aspects that are not directly addressed by prior work. In particular, what is the best approach for team-forming when the participants have similar skills but are deployed to work on very different design challenges?

In our capstone course, we recently compared two approaches to team formation: Student-formed and Faculty-formed teams. The results of this comparison are reported in a separate paper. This year, informed by these results, we implemented a new hybrid team-forming process designed to retain the student agency resulting from Student-formed teams while including some of the known benefits of Faculty-formed teams. In this hybrid process, students placed labeled sticky notes on posters to indicate their project interests (first, second, third choice). Projects requiring special skills (e.g., FEA, mechatronics) had spaces for students to self-identify these skills. After an initial round, instructors pointed out high-interest projects and encouraged students to consider moving their sticky notes. Following a second round, faculty took the posters and used them to form teams.

This paper summarizes relevant team-forming research and results from our comparison between Student-formed and Faculty-formed teams. Then we describe the hybrid approach implemented this year and analyze the preliminary results obtained after one quarter of student teamwork (including student surveys, team peer evaluations, and faculty interviews).

Schuster, P., & Self, B. P., & Elghandour, E., & Cooper, L. A. (2020, June), A Hybrid Approach to Team-forming for Capstone Design Projects Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34008

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