June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.790.1 - 13.790.9
International Design Course Experiences Abstract
International design course experiences between two engineering institutes are reviewed. The international collaboration, between a Japanese- and US-based engineering institute, has been ongoing since 2004. In the past four years, each institute has conducted a design course that relies upon student interaction with the other institute1 .
The collaboration involves an Engineering Design course that is required for first- and second-year engineering undergraduates at one of the institutes, and an elective course for engineering undergraduates at the other institute. Engineering design projects are assigned to groups of four to six students at each university, and instructors help facilitate international collaboration.
The paper discusses methods and challenges for conducting an international engineering design course. Experiences in project selection, communication format, language, software and assessment are summarized. The paper offers ideas for future improvements in each of these areas.
Before starting the collaboration, discussions were held to determine the optimal method for carrying out the project. Options included:
Option 1: Students from different institutions gather at one location and form teams. Each team selects a project and design activities are practiced and presented throughout the academic term,
Option 2: Students from different institutions stay at home institutes but form interinstitute teams. Teams practice design activities using the internet,
Option 3: Students from each institution stay at home institute and form independent teams. Teams conduct design activities and communicate their results to counterpart teams at the other institute using the internet.
The third option was selected, and has been used as the means of carrying out the international collaboration. Each team independently works on their selected project. Progress reports and achievements are exchanged through email, websites and and web conferencing. All of the teams select projects from a list that includes project topics related to the instructor-determined main theme. Since 2004, the main theme has been sustainability, green engineering and the environment.
The main theme defines a broad problem area where many specific problems and needs exist. The main theme provides a unifying element for the class. Each design team chooses a project topic, related to the main theme, based upon respective majors and interests of each team member.
Ferro, P., & Osawa, N., & Matsuishi, M., & Stamper, R., & Sanders, W., & Yamakawa, T., & Furukawa, T. (2008, June), International Design Course Experiences Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3266
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