June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Design in Engineering Education
23.1028.1 - 23.1028.13
Redmine as a Web-Based Collaboration Tool in Engineering Design CoursesTraditional lecture-based coursework focuses on providing a solid theoretical foundation andanalytical skills for each of the various disciplines. On the other hand, capstone design coursesoffer collaborative design experiences. In our program, students work with their academicadvisors as well as industry sponsors toward a common project objective. They develop andexercise both practical communication and project management skills using an open source web-based collaboration software called Redmine (http://www.redmine.org/).Redmine was released as a bug-tracking tool in 2006. Enhancement made to the system and add-on modules made Redmine a powerful project management tool. The “Issues” feature allows thestudents to practice project management by recording and tracking tasks in addition to managingbugs in a system being developed. These tasks are then assigned to a team member to establishownership along with planned start and end dates. Redmine then automatically generates a Ganttchart showing the current project status.Collaboration is fostered through the use of the discussion forums and the built-in wiki. Studentspractice and enhance their communication skills by managing information in the project’s wikias their design notebook. Students also use the discussion forums for technical discussions anddesign reviews. Students post progress updates for their assigned issues, providing anopportunity for team members, sponsor mentors, and faculty advisors to provide feedback andsuggestions quickly.Redmine can generate various usage statistics that allow advisors to assess student interactions interms of quality and frequency. Project evaluators can monitor the frequency of each student’scontributions to the project and quickly review the content and quality.All of the features mentioned above and more have been used to support approximately 200students each semester since the fall of 2009. Although students required little encouragement tostart using the system instead of e-mail, many project teams used the system productively andobtained good results. The system also enabled the faculty advisers to assess a team’s progress,problems, and individual contributions more effectively. Their ability to respond the students’needs quickly enhanced their learning experience and made significant impact on the outcome ofthe project results.This paper will present issues in deploying the system and the best practices for using thesefeatures in engineering design courses.
Kanai, J., & Anderson, M. (2013, June), Redmine as a Web-Based Collaboration Tool in Engineering Design Courses Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22413
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