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Students Tailor A Practical Web Content Management System For Effective Communication And Coordination Among Integrated Project Teams Of Industry, Government, And Academic Researchers

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Design in the ECE Curriculum

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1134.1 - 15.1134.6



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Paper Authors

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Matthew Huff University of Idaho

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Edward William University of Idaho

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Vishu Gupta University of Idaho

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Herbert Hess University of Idaho

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

Students Tailor a Practical Web Content Management System for Effective Communication and Coordination Among Integrated Project Teams of Industry, Government, and Academic Researchers

Introduction To develop a State of Charge Indicator (SOCI), a team of industry, government, and academics was assembled. This team included entrepreneurs who run a small business in Atlanta, an industry participant in Wisconsin, a professor and two graduate students in a joint two-university cooperative teaching program in Idaho Falls, Idaho, a professor and three graduate students in Moscow, Idaho, and a government project officer in Maryland. Originally, the project consisted of just the entrepreneur and the professor in Moscow. Communication by email and telephone was easy and sufficient. Then the project grew and gained students and industry participants. As the project grew, communications soon sorely needed improvement. The document exchange became a blizzard of email attachments that were difficult to keep track of, let along verify who received and read which documents. Written meeting minutes became necessary but lagged considerably.

This paper describes a communication strategy that students developed to improve communications for such a diverse, widely scattered group. In the process, the students learned valuable lessons in communication, project management, personal style and preference in performing research work, and management and protection of intellectual property. The strategy was developed as part of three classes offered through the two universities. It became the means by which all concerned with the project kept track of its progress. It served as a means of documentation and archive, eventually being incorporated easily into theses, presentations, and reports. It emphasized the importance of protecting intellectual property in a practical and unforgettable manner.

The main campus students created a website approach to deal with the document exchange problem, initially through Google Docs®. What they developed did store and distribute documents, but it did a lot more. It contained each team member’s calendar, created through Google®. Meeting minutes were created on line during each meeting and automatically posted in real time. (One of the graduate students learned how to do this as part of his duties as Education Chair for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).) Sensitive reference documents were posted in a secure section of the website. If copyright permission was necessary, appropriate letters, citations, or URLs were posted instead of actual documents when the university had paid for access; from these posted documents granting permission, appropriate forwarding links were provided. All links to copyrighted material were password protected with access granted only to authorized, paying parties. Access to licenses for electronics design software for circuit boards, microcontrollers, battery simulation, and testing results took the form of server based licenses purchased specifically for multiple seats and multiple locations.

This attention to detail on intellectual property led to an important change of platform. As the project developed, the students determined that Google Docs® was not the best platform for copyrighted material or even for links to copyrighted material. Google® claims swnership of materials posted on Google Docs®. Such concerns for intellectual property rights motivated the

Huff, M., & William, E., & Gupta, V., & Hess, H. (2010, June), Students Tailor A Practical Web Content Management System For Effective Communication And Coordination Among Integrated Project Teams Of Industry, Government, And Academic Researchers Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15976

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