Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
We present a distributed, scalable, student-driven method for both defining a set of projects and subsequently assigning students to project teams. This process has been implemented within a mixed online/in-person multi-university course comprised of both undergraduate and graduate level students who are predominantly, but not exclusively, pursuing engineering degrees. Our Innovation Based Learning (IBL) course seeks to provide students with maximum freedom and responsibility for their own learning; we seek to radically rethink and reduce the organizational tasks normally performed by the instructor. Re-assigning these tasks to the students creates new opportunities to learn soft skills such as giving an elevator pitch, project management, market research, and online collaboration. Key technology enablers used in this process are: Flipgrid for sharing short videos, and a Slack channel for both one-to-one and group chat.
All projects are defined and proposed by the students. We teach market needs analysis, and jump-start student brainstorming, by requiring that each proposal relate to a Federal Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Student-proposed projects also ensure that each semester’s mix of projects addresses the unique set of backgrounds/interests of that student cohort. By democratizing the assignment of working groups, we maximize student buy-in and motivation for their topic and team. One concern with this distributed process is speed; will it take too long to crowd-source ideas and self-assemble teams? Using new digital platforms, individual student project proposals are created and reviewed entirely outside of class meeting times. Grouping students into teams is also a student-driven activity which requires minimal instructor intervention or in-class overhead. We will share considerations, surprises, and lessons-learned from this process as it has been employed and refined, over multiple years, within a multi-university IBL course. A step-by-step implementation guide is provided for others wishing to emulate the process.
Striker, R., & Alvarez Vazquez, E., & Pearson, M., & Singelmann, L., & Swartz, E. M. (2020, June), A Scalable Approach to Student Team Formation for Innovation-based Learning Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34046
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