June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Computers in Education
12.1029.1 - 12.1029.11
Management and Archival for Project-Based Courses Abstract:
The use of the World Wide Web has become very common as a teaching tool in courses. It serves as a paperless studio for both instructors and students. The use of this tool helps reduce the cost of a course tremendously for both parties as it reduces paper consumption and the cost of textbooks. In this paper, we examine the effective usages of database driven web portals for use in a first-year engineering design course. Specifically, we explore the pedagogic implications of creating two types of portals: (1) Course Management System (CMS) for course materials in an ongoing semester and (2) Project Archival Tool (PAT) for completed project materials.
We apply our proposed methods in a first-year engineering design course taught to approximately 180 students per semester. The course is project-based and focuses on teaching students basic engineering design principles and professional skills. Coupled with these lectures are additional laboratory components in which students learn to use MathWorks Matlab, a computational tool, and Alias Wavefront Maya, a 3D design package. The final team-based project encompasses skills learned in class applied to a design problem proposed by a community partner. Required of each team is a final presentation with electronic slides alongside a report. Additional deliverables are varied and may include website design, 3D architectural drawings and renderings, and physical prototypes. The significant amount of project material produced during the semester prompts the introduction of appropriate tools.
CMS is a calendar-like system for students and instructors to disseminate and collect electronic documents including lectures and assignments. Student submissions and grading are handled by CMS, resulting in a more effective and efficient course management. With its built in “Help- Ticket” function, CMS facilitates a rapid response and communication rate between instructors and students. Important project management features, for example a scheduling tool, a file- sharing facility, Gantt Chart creator have been incorporated into the system to better serve the need of team-based project work.
PAT is web-based archival system, which collects and makes available final deliverables of student projects. The data presented through this tool mainly serve to provide future students with prior projects’ results, which is particularly important for continuing projects. It also serves as a method to relay progress and status to community partners and other interested parties. Consequently, PAT becomes a chronological encyclopedia of all projects that students have completed in our course.
Results indicate that the implementation of both portals yields a smoother paperless transition of materials not only between students and instructors but also between student teams and community partners. Student evaluations show satisfaction with the use of both systems while community partner evaluations show great enthusiasm for this easy access to completed project materials. Course instructors are comfortable with the simplicity of paperless course management. Future work includes implementation and assessment of additional project management tools.
Dutta, P., & Haubold, A. (2007, June), Management And Archival For Project Based Courses Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2420
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