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Analysis Of The Trinity College Walk On Water Project: A Case Study Of Team Learning In The Design Experience

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Teaching Teaming Skills Through Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.202.1 - 7.202.8



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Paper Authors

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Robert Peattie

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Andrew Robinson

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Andrew Malick

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Although a substantial history exists regarding the use of team projects as instructional activities in engineering design curricula, only limited attention has been given to project subjects that span multiple areas of engineering, including biomedical, civil, electrical and mechanical. The conceptualization of such topics, and their integration into the broader curriculum, involves appraisal of important questions relating to prerequisite knowledge, integration of disciplines, learning by design, teamwork, competitions, assessment and evaluation. As an example of one such extensive project, in this paper we consider three years of experience incorporating the Trinity College Walk-on-Water Project in the senior design capstone experience. Educational objectives, project organization, learning activities and pedagogic outcomes in designing, building and operating both human-powered and robotic mechanisms for walking on a water surface are reviewed. Special attention is paid to assessment of the team learning process. Based on our findings over this period, we believe this project strongly improves student ability to combine knowledge from disparate areas of engineering science to accomplish a specific goal. At the same time, by combining an academically challenging goal with a hands-on approach supported by an aspect of fun and humor, motivation is enhanced as is ability to work within a dynamic team environment. We discuss the educational outcomes served by this project, and point out potential improvements that may enhance its applicability to a variety of programmatic approaches.

Peattie, R., & Robinson, A., & Malick, A. (2002, June), Analysis Of The Trinity College Walk On Water Project: A Case Study Of Team Learning In The Design Experience Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10806

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