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Genesis Of A Team Teaching Paradigm Development Of A Space Option In Aerospace Engineering

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



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Page Numbers

6.519.1 - 6.519.6

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Rachel Shinn

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Ron Madler

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

Session 1816

Genesis of a Team Teaching Paradigm – Development of A Space Option in Aerospace Engineering

Drs. Rachel Shinn and Ronald Madler Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ


This paper describes the team teaching dynamics that the two authors experienced while developing a spacecraft design option within the Aerospace Engineering Department at Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. The authors found it necessary and desirable to work as a team in developing the space courses since there was no release time allocated to this new program and course development. We discovered that we were able to create a much better program by utilizing our collective strengths. This has also allowed us to know precisely what the students are learning in the space option. We are currently recruiting faculty in other departments to work with us since spacecraft design is truly an interdisciplinary activity. Our hope is to change the traditional teaching paradigm of faculty working in isolation to a team paradigm in which faculty work collaboratively to create a more efficient learning process. It is our opinion that if we just pay lip service to the idea of interdisciplinary teams without trying to incorporate these concepts into our own operations, our student and industry stakeholders will recognize that we are not practicing what we preach. In describing this process, we will also describe the development courses and curricula that support this new space option.

I. Introduction

As educators, we talk a lot about the importance of teams and how important it is to work across disciplines. However, we do not often practice cross-disciplinary work, nor do we often work effectively in teams. Yet, this is what we expect of out students. It is easy to get caught up in our own area of expertise, and thus much more difficult to reach out to other disciplines to attempt to work together. The area of space and spacecraft, however, presents a clear opportunity for teaming and cross-disciplinary work. We have begun to work in this way at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott in our development of a space option within aerospace engineering.

The authors have backgrounds in spacecraft attitude dynamics, spacecraft systems engineering, and orbital mechanics. We are the team teachers of the new courses. However, educating students in space technology involves many more disciplines than our own. Electrical engineering, for example, is a key area in space technology. So, as we have been developing this program, we have needed and received input as well as team teaching from members of other departments on

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Shinn, R., & Madler, R. (2001, June), Genesis Of A Team Teaching Paradigm Development Of A Space Option In Aerospace Engineering Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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