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Mobile App Development: A Cross-Discipline Team-based Approach to Student and Faculty Learning

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division New Ideas Session 1

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

24.910.1 - 24.910.14

DOI

10.18260/1-2--22843

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22843

Download Count

180

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Paper Authors

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Sarvesh S. Kulkarni Villanova University

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Sarvesh Kulkarni received a B.E. in Computer Engineering from the University of Bombay in 1994, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1998 and 2002, respectively. Prior to 2002, he has worked in various industry positions in India and the US.
He joined the ECE department at Villanova University in 2002, and is currently an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering. His teaching and research interests are: adaptive load-balanced techniques for routing packets in wireless and wired networks, performance analysis and optimization of network parameters, rapid prototyping of autonomous robots, and networked health-monitoring device in healthcare applications. In 2011, he won an award from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers for teaching innovations in a team-taught multi-disciplinary course.

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Frank Klassner Villanova University

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Vijay Gehlot Villanova University

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VIJAY GEHLOT is an Associate Professor and Graduate Programs Director in the Computing Sciences Department at Villanova University. He received a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) in Electrical and Electronics from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, India; a Master of Engineering in Automation from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India; and a Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science from University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His research interests are in the area of systems modeling and analysis, formal methods, and applications of Colored Petri Nets (CPNs). He has used CPNs to model and analyze network protocols, service systems, biological pathways, healthcare systems, enterprise architectures, re-entrant systems, and broadband services. He is a member of the ACM and Sigma Xi. His email address is vijay.gehlot@villanova.edu

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E.J. Dougherty III Villanova University

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E.J. Dougherty III is an Adjunct Professor in the College of Engineering at Villanova University, teaching courses in Engineering Entrepreneurship and Mobile Application Development. He received both his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from Villanova University. E.J. is also Vice President of a project-based technology company, Ablaze Development Corp, specializing in the design and development of working proof-of-concept software and hardware systems.

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Sue McFarland Metzger Villanova University

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Sue McFarland Metzger received a B.S. in Mathematics from Bucknell University in 1987 and a M.S. in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. Prior to 1995, she was a programming and database management consultant and specialized in client/server deployments. From 1995 until 2003, she worked for SAP supporting global software implementations. She joined Villanova University in 2003 and is currently an Instructor of Information Systems in the Villanova School of Business. Her teaching and research interests are: enterprise systems, programming, mobile application development and entrepreneurship, database management and business analytics.

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William P. Wagner Villanova University

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Dr. Wagner is a professor of Information Systems at Villanova University where he has been teaching since 1991. He received his Ph.D. in MIS from the University of Kentucky in 1992. While at Villanova he has developed over 30 innovative new MIS courses. He has co-authored three books and many journal articles in the fields of CRM, Enterprise Systems, Expert Systems and E-Commerce. Recently, he was the winner of the 2011 Meyer award for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship and a co-winner of the 2011 Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers’ award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation.

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Abstract

Mobile App Development: A Cross-Discipline Team-Based Approach to Student and Faculty LearningAbstractTechnical courses taught in a University setting focus exclusively on technical elegance. Theunfortunate side-effect is that many engineers and scientists believe that a great idea sells itselfregardless of market dynamics. The lack of understanding of how a business functions leads toadversarial relationships among technical employees, and their business-oriented colleagues.Similarly, when business managers interact with their technical employees, they often do notfully appreciate the complex nature of the technical development process and the numerous mis-steps on the way to an acceptable product. We aim to promote empathy towards and a greaterunderstanding of each others' professions by making students “walk in each others' shoes” in across-discipline team-taught course “Mobile App. Development” that involves faculty andstudents from three disciplines: Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Business. Theinnovations introduced in the course won three of the instructors an award in entrepreneurshipteaching and pedagogical innovation from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, aconsortium of more than 200 University centers.Mobile Application Development has run successfully as a senior-level elective course for threeconsecutive years with full student enrollment. The uniting factor in bringing students andfaculty members from the three disciplines together is a common interest in working with theiPhone and Android smartphone platforms. An unorthodox mix of engineering, computerscience, and business students sharing a single classroom calls for non-traditional teachingstrategies. Students are assigned to teams comprised of one representative from each discipline -engineering, computer science, and business. They are expected to deliver a “close-to-market”mobile application product by the end of the course.Each participant experiences the nuances of the others' fields: in developing their product,business students also work on programming, while engineering and computer science studentsdevelop business and marketing plans. Computer engineering and computer science studentslearn about the sometimes harsh realities of business decisions, and business majors learn thetechnological challenges, limitations, and thought processes that go into designing a technicalproduct. Although the course has regular assignments, a midterm and a final exam, a largeportion of the final grade depends on each team's design, execution, business plan, and thepersuasiveness of their final presentations. These presentations are judged not only by the coursefaculty but also by representatives from industry and other external judges.The course outcomes as evidenced in student surveys were: i. it fostered entrepreneurialthinking, ii. students recognized that a real-life approach to product development spans multipledisciplines, and iii. it demonstrated the value of collaborating with peers across disciplines tochampion one's vision; success is not guaranteed, but it is not incidental, either. Furthermore, across-disciplinary student team from this class also won a University-wide award inentrepreneurship for a product developed as part of the class deliverable. The faculty enjoyedlearning from each other and from students in areas outside of their expertise. However, theapproach did require significant time investment from all instructors, and it might not have beenas successful if significant logistical and administrative resources had not been provided by thethe individual departments and the University.

Kulkarni, S. S., & Klassner, F., & Gehlot, V., & Dougherty, E., & Metzger, S. M., & Wagner, W. P. (2014, June), Mobile App Development: A Cross-Discipline Team-based Approach to Student and Faculty Learning Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22843

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