Asee peer logo

Team Development In A Preliminary Year Design Class

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1087.1 - 8.1087.16

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

M.J. (John) Frye

author page

Myron (Ron) Britton

Download Paper |

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

Session 3125

Team Development in a Preliminary Year Design Class

M. G. Britton, M. J. Frye

Associate Dean (Design Education), Engineer-in-Residence

University of Manitoba


This paper describes the approach taken to team development in a preliminary year engineering design class at the University of Manitoba. With this approach, student design teams assume a significant level of responsibility for the conduct of all components of the course. The course management system that emphasizes individual and collective responsibilities and formal training in team development is discussed.

Engineering Design is a required Preliminary Year course for all Engineering students at the University of Manitoba. More than 1200 students have taken this course since its introduction in January 1999. Classes as large as 100 students attend one lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Laboratory work is Design Team based, so effective operation of the teams is critical if we are to meet our teaching goals.

Team membership is assigned by the professor. A maximum of 20 Design Teams are created per section, each with a target size of five students. Initially no Design Team will have fewer than four or more than six members. Team size can decrease during the term because of withdrawals, but in no case will a team continue with fewer that three members. Only twice since the initiation of the course has it been necessary to deal with the integration of depleted Design Teams.

The stated purpose of the course is to provide students with an introduction to the engineering design process. Design realities such as assumption, approximation, uncertainty, and compromise are introduced through open-ended, student-controlled, laboratory projects. Individual and collective responsibilities are emphasised through the course management system that has been developed.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Frye, M. J., & Britton, M. R. (2003, June), Team Development In A Preliminary Year Design Class Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015