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Designed-for-Motivation based Learning for Large Multidisciplinary Team One Semester Hands-on Network based Course Case Study

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Capstone Projects, Design Projects, and Teamwork

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.376.1 - 23.376.16



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Paper Authors


Emil H Salib James Madison University

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Professor in the Integrated Science & Technology Department at James Madison University. Current Teaching - Wire-line & Wireless Networking & Security and Cross Platform Mobile Application Development.
Current Research - Mobile IPv6 and Design for Motivation Curriculum.

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Joshua Alfred Erney James Madison University

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Joshua Erney is a Senior Integrated Science and Technology major with a concentration in Telecommunications and a minor in Computer Science at James Madison University.

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Matthew Edwin Schumaker

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Multidisciplinary Project-based Learning Approach Designed for Motivation End-to-End Integrated Network based Services and ProductsUndergraduate students in the areas of Computer Information Systems, Telecommunications,Computer Networking, Instrumentation Engineering, Information Knowledge Management andComputer Science and Engineering do not get adequate opportunities to participate in real worldexperiences in a classroom environment. They are typically provided with well-defined problemsto practice the fundamentals of what they have been taught in their specific discipline. Also,they may participate in a capstone project individually or in a small group (2 to 3 students) wherethey may select a topic of limited scope due to the small size of and the limited diversity of theteam. In addition, the majority of these activities may be designed with little focus on exercisingthe latest applied learning models.In this paper, we describe the creation, design, implementation, assessment and results of a onesemester course where two sections, each consists of 15 students with diverse background andinterests in science, technology and engineering in the College of Science and Engineering(CISE) were challenged to apply their creativity just like a startup company. In pursuing theapplication of the “Value-Expectancy” model of motivation and multidisciplinary approach, eachsection was trusted with the task of identifying and defining a service or product opportunity, andarchitecting, engineering, testing and delivering a working prototype of an end-to-end integratedsolution. Each section chose a problem that was very personal, that the students were dealingwith themselves, and in a way that has made the whole class get behind each other. Next, theywere asked to organize themselves in sub-teams to line up with a basic end-to-endservice/product architecture consisting of Front-end, Central and Back-end components. Inaddition, and as critical, two students were selected as the Integration sub-team.This structure was designed to emulate a workplace environment with large team, groupassessments, deadlines, and common goals but as important for the students to make mistakes ina forgiving environment and learn by sorting out their mistakes. The inter-dependencies amongthe sub-teams motivated the students to prepare for the weekly reviews and increasingly holdeach other accountable for doing so. A key eye opener to the students was how unprepared thesub-teams were when they for the first time attempted to integrate the sub-teams createdcomponents. And, even more shocking what they were faced when for the first time they tried todemonstrate the end-to-end solution. This approach has significantly enhanced the students’level of engagement in learning and researching. Through independent research, students wereable to use relatively low-tech hardware and software to produce a high-tech result in addition toconsidering the social implications of their creation. The final product was an example of a stepforward for an innovative product accessible through smartphone platforms. The students’abilities to produce this kind of change are exceptional in that they were able to start fromnothing and end with new innovative integrated solutions taken advantage of themultidisciplinary background of the large team.

Salib, E. H., & Erney, J. A., & Schumaker, M. E. (2013, June), Designed-for-Motivation based Learning for Large Multidisciplinary Team One Semester Hands-on Network based Course Case Study Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19390

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