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Distance Design Collaboration Through An Advanced Interactive Discovery Environment

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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

Managing and Funding Design Projects

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.434.1 - 7.434.8



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Paper Authors

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Barry Davidson

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Anthony Ingraffea

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Alan Zehnder

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

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Session 1302

Distance Design Collaboration Through an Advanced Interactive Discovery Environment Barry Davidson1, Rachel Davidson2, Geri Gay2, Anthony Ingraffea2, Matthew Miller2, Linda Nozick2, Alan Zehnder2, Ross Sheckler3 and Curtis Rath3 1 Syracuse University / 2Cornell University / 3Dynacs Engineering Inc.

Abstract Syracuse and Cornell Universities are collaboratively working on the Advanced Interactive Discovery Environment (AIDE) for Engineering Education Project, which integrates and advances the best features of virtual, collaborative engineering environments, state-of-the-art simulation tools, and advanced learning management systems. An integral part of this project involves the development and teaching of a new, two-semester senior level design course that is offered synchronously at both institutions and which emphasizes teamwork, collaboration at a distance and multidisciplinary activities. One long-term goal of the project is that the course provides the context for feedback on the nature of virtual interactions, and therefore on how to improve the AIDE. In addition, we aim to study whether multifaceted instructional methods that leverage emerging information technologies can enhance student learning on fundamental technologies, systems-level engineering, and the multidisciplinary nature of, and approach to, present and future engineering problems.

The project is currently in its second year, during which emphasis has been placed primarily on getting the course, AIDE, and all the related hardware and software functioning effectively. The course is presently being taught in distance learning classrooms that use teleconferencing and screen-sharing technologies. Each distance learning classroom contains two screens in front, one that shows the image of the instructor at the remote site (when applicable) and the other that displays the image from a computer running a screen sharing application such as a slide presentation. In this manner, a virtual seminar environment has been created wherein students and faculty at the two locations can freely interact.

The focus of the first semester is small-team design of a thermo-structural system for a second-generation reusable launch vehicle. All teams consist of students from both Cornell and Syracuse Universities. Outside of classroom hours, student teams collaborate and interact using the AIDE. The project is being continually evaluated through the use of surveys, in-class observations, and tracking of web sites used by the students, and this information is used for improvements as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of this learning method in comparison to more conventional approaches.

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Davidson, B., & Ingraffea, A., & Zehnder, A. (2002, June), Distance Design Collaboration Through An Advanced Interactive Discovery Environment Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10727

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