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On The Use Of Advanced It Tools To Facilitate Effective, Geographically Distributed Student Design Teams

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Teaching Teaming Skills Through Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.893.1 - 8.893.6



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Paper Authors

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Michael Stefanone

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Jae-Shin Lee

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Geraldine Gay

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Barry Davidson

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Anthony Ingraffea

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Alan Zehnder

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Scott Jones

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John Dannenhoffer

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

Session 2525

On the use of Advanced IT Tools to Facilitate Effective, Geographically Distributed Student Design Teams

Barry Davidson1, John Dannenhoffer III1, Geraldine Gay2, Anthony Ingraffea2, Scott Jones2, Jae-Shin Lee2, Michael Stefanone2 and Alan Zehnder2 1 Syracuse University / 2Cornell University

Introduction In industry and government, teams of scientists and engineers need to work together closely to achieve their project goals. In large projects team members may live and work at geographically distant sites, and may work for different organizations, making communication and interaction between the team members difficult at best. Advanced information technologies such as video conferencing and web-based collaboration systems are being adopted in business and education. These tools, in combination with existing technologies such as email and telephone promise to greatly improve the effectiveness of geographically distributed project teams. To make the most effective use of IT tools for distance collaboration and to improve the design of the next generation of tools, fundamental research as well as practical experience with using the tools is required. With support from the NASA Langley Research Center, the State of New York and the AT&T foundation, Syracuse and Cornell Universities are conducting a study on the effectiveness of advanced information technology tools for facilitating communication and collaboration at a distance. This study combines fundamental research into the design and use of the IT tools as well as practical experience with using IT tools for distance collaboration. Our working hypothesis is that proper use of IT based collaboration tools can facilitate effective design collaboration at a distance and can enhance our student’s education, better preparing them for tomorrow’s workplace. Course Description To provide a formal mechanism to learn about, and subsequently teach students about, tools and techniques for harnessing the benefits of distance collaborations, Syracuse (SU) and Cornell (CU) Universities have been collaboratively teaching a senior-level engineering design course for the past two years. The two-semester course is taught to a roughly equal number of students at the two universities by faculty in the two universities from several different engineering disciplines. For the first half of the first semester, the students were broken up into three groups, or discipline specific tracks, each taught by a different faculty member. Of the ten students in each track, five were from CU and five from SU. Each track studied a specific subject, (thermal systems, materials, and aerospace structures). Lectures and discussion sessions were given synchronously at CU and SU using distance learning classroom. All lectures were given using PowerPoint presentations. Generally the presentations were provided to the students ahead of time, although the versions given to the students generally had much of the derivations deleted, forcing students to pay attention and to take notes in class. Through these short courses, each student developed a specific skill and set of analysis tools to bring to their team design project.

"Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2003, American Society for Engineering Education"

Stefanone, M., & Lee, J., & Gay, G., & Davidson, B., & Ingraffea, A., & Zehnder, A., & Jones, S., & Dannenhoffer, J. (2003, June), On The Use Of Advanced It Tools To Facilitate Effective, Geographically Distributed Student Design Teams Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11632

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