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Software Engineering Design: A Laboratory In Building Team Management Skills

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Teaching Team Skills Through Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1122.1 - 10.1122.10



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Paper Authors

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Douglas MacIntosh

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Susan Conry

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

Software Engineering Design: A Laboratory in Building Team Management Skills

Susan E. Conry and Douglas J. MacIntosh Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Clarkson University Potsdam, NY 13699-5720


“Engineering is problem recognition, formulation, and solution. In the next 20 years, engineers and engineering students will be required to use new tools and apply ever- increasing knowledge in expanding engineering disciplines, all while considering societal repercussions and constraints within a complex landscape of old and new ideas. They will be working with diverse teams of engineers and nonengineers to formulate solutions to yet unknown problems. They will increasingly need to address large-scale systems problems.” 1

Engineering in the 21st century requires teamwork. The problems are large and open ended, requiring expertise across a range of disciplines. Because solving these problems demands competent engineers, engineering education has been focused on educating the individual – enabling each student to acquire the fundamental knowledge and skills associated with his or her chosen discipline of study. Students are evaluated using metrics that assess the knowledge and skills they have acquired as individuals. Yet engineering students must learn the skills they need to work effectively on teams.

Software engineering design provides an ideal framework for teaching students the skill set that they need to function well on interdisciplinary teams. The problems involved are multifaceted and large. Solving them requires contributions from groups with differing functional responsibilities, yet the product cannot be delivered in the absence of coordination and cooperation. This paper describes a two course sequence in software engineering design that focuses attention on design and teamwork. Specifically, we discuss the nature of these courses and give an indication as to some of the strategies that are used to guide students as they learn to work effectively in large teams.

Teamwork Skills

Engineering curricula are usually highly structured, building in each student the foundation of technical expertise in mathematics, science, and engineering that enables graduates of engineering programs to solve real-world problems. In the 21st century, though, the problems are large and complex. Their solution requires contributions from a wide variety of disciplines and from individuals operating as a problem solving team. Engineering educators must find

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright© 2005 American Society for Engineering Education

MacIntosh, D., & Conry, S. (2005, June), Software Engineering Design: A Laboratory In Building Team Management Skills Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14559

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