June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Design in Engineering Education
15.1190.1 - 15.1190.10
Team Based Negotiation of Ideas on Design Decision Making Performance Introduction
Engineering in the 21st century is becoming a more social process with multiple stakeholders. Nowadays, many engineering design projects are undertaken by project teams consisting of various disciplinary content experts. This type of engineering work requires domain knowledge coupled with many professional skills such as teamwork, collaboration, communication of ideas, decision making, etc. Recent reports such as the Engineer of 20201 have recognized that such skills are essential in the education of the next generation of engineers. The challenge is finding effective instructional methods that develop these skills without large amounts of instructional overhead.
Engineering instructors often utilize project based design courses to engage and develop many of the professional skills students will need in the workplace. Although students are exposed to teamwork in their engineering curriculum, it is not the most dominant mode of their learning experience. Students may encounter difficulty in communicating and negotiating their ideas with team members unless they are given tools and strategies to support the process. They also need multiple opportunities to engage and use these methods as part of their curricular experience so they are better prepared after graduation. Prior research on teaming provides some ideas about how to design experience that promote effective teaming behavior.2,3 We have experimented with multiple methods to support the process in first year engineering courses and anticipate these skills transferring to future team situations. However, we also recognize the need for teams to think with their domain knowledge as they engage in engineering activities. We are interested in the inquiry of how teams continue to use effective teaming process skills and learn to collaborate together to learn new content and to systematically make decisions related to activities like design, and troubleshooting.
Implementing a problem or project-based learning (pbl) approach to teaching requires putting more of the learning responsibility into the hands of the students. Some pbl approaches use team facilitators to help initiate teams into the process of investigating a proposed problem. (e.g. in engineering Newstetter4; in medicine, Hmelo5) The facilitator provides various levels of scaffolding in various forms. For example, he or she may introduce organizational tools such as whiteboards to manage idea generation and investigation of various options. The facilitator could initially assume the team manager types of responsibilities, and gradually hand over more of the responsibility to the students. The objectives are to help students learn to participate and lead these kinds of team design processes. An important point to note is that not all courses need to use the facilitation model. As students progress through the curriculum instructors can assume students can manage this process on their own. However, the instructor may be introducing new domain specific tools that teams can use to manage their design process and to monitor some productivity and cohesiveness. In an engineering undergraduate curriculum this kind of model is implemented by teaching teaming, design, problem solving and project management skills in the first year of engineering, then engaging students in design projects of various scales throughout the remainder of their undergraduate career. In designing these courses, instructors need mechanisms to monitor progress and potentially provide
Velankar, Y., & Brophy, S., & Okutsu, M., & Delaurentis, D. (2010, June), Team Based Negotiation Of Ideas On Design Decision Making Performance Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16788
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