June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Design in Engineering Education
11.941.1 - 11.941.9
Multi-Campus Collaborations among Undergraduate Design Teams: Opportunities and Challenges
Abstract There are many benefits to participating in multi-campus collaborations among project-based design teams. First, students gain experience in working in a distributed design environment, which is becoming more commonplace in engineering practice. Second, collaborations offer the ability to share complementary expertise and allow student design teams to participate in projects that they would not normally be able to undertake alone. Third, collaboration among teams of multiple campuses allows for sharing of prior work and the opportunity to build upon the work to have a more significant impact.
There are, however, challenges to participating in multi-campus collaborations. It is difficult for student teams to partition projects such that they can be done somewhat independently. Communication issues can be complicated by distance and the lack of face-to-face contact on a regular basis.
The EPICS - Engineering Projects in Community Service – program engages undergraduate student design teams on long-term projects that solve technology-based problems for local community service organizations. There are sixteen universities with active EPICS programs in the 2005-2006 academic year. While the programs have some variation as EPICS has been integrated into each individual campus, they share basic characteristics. The existence of EPICS programs on multiple campuses has created the opportunity to collaborate across institutions. This paper will describe three models for multi-campus collaboration that have been used in EPICS.
Introduction The importance of significant design experiences to prepare undergraduate engineering students for engineering careers has been well-documented 1, 2. These experiences typically emphasize the application of the technical skills as well as the professional skills such as communication, working as a team and customer interaction 3-5. The need for such experiences has spawned many innovative approaches to senior capstone design courses 6, 7 as well as design courses for underclassmen 8-11. Most of these courses are confined to one semester or quarter and are intended to give the students an intense exposure to the design process. The model that guided the creation of the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) curriculum was to involve each student for several semesters or even years on the same long-term project, so that each student would experience varying roles over the course of the project.
EPICS is built around the concept of long-term partnerships between student teams and not-for- profit organizations in the community. Community service agencies face a future in which they must rely to a great extent upon technology for the delivery, coordination, accounting, and improvement of the services they provide. They often possess neither the expertise to use nor the budget to design and acquire a technological solution that is suited to their mission. They thus
Zoltowski, C., & Oakes, W., & Myers, B. (2006, June), Multi Campus Collaborations Among Undergraduate Design Teams: Opportunities And Challenges Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1200
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