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Teaming In Freshman Design Using A Studio Teaching Approach And Blackboard®

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Projects,Teams & Cooperative Learning

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1211.1 - 9.1211.8



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Paper Authors

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Elizabeth Eschenbach

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Eileen Cashman

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

Session 3153

Teaming in Freshman Design Using a Studio Teaching Approach and Blackboard®

Elizabeth A. Eschenbach, Eileen M. Cashman,

Environmental Resources Engineering, Humboldt State University

Abstract This paper describes the use of the Studio Teaching pedagogical approach, which was first developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, to teach an Introduction to Design course at Humboldt State University. The course is taught in a recently renovated Design Studio; a classroom that has computers, white boards on all walls, and moveable furniture so students can easily work in groups around computers or tables or listen to a traditional lecture. The class format is split up into small lectures interspersed with related group activities to teach teamwork, ethics, project management, spreadsheets, Computer Aided Design (CAD) and the design process. The paper will present examples of how the Studio Teaching approach is used to teach some of these topics with a focus on design and teamwork skills. Students work in teams on two projects, a 3-week Rube Goldberg device and a 10-week service-learning project for a local K- 12th grade teacher. Students are assigned to teams and required to use the Blackboard group discussion board area to submit weekly progress reports. Each week, students participate in a creativity/teamwork exercise. These activities will be described in the paper. Students evaluate their peers’ teamwork skills at mid and end semester via web based software. This work is funded is partially with an NSF Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) Grant Award 0127139. A description of the creatively/teamwork exercises as well as the lessons on design, ethics and project management will be made available at

Introduction and Course Description Faculty members in Humboldt State University’s (HSU) Environmental Resources Engineering (ERE) program are revitalizing an introductory course, ENGR 215: Introduction to Design, to improve the retention and recruitment of students into environmental resources engineering. This paper reports the curricular changes which minimize the use of lecture to teach design and teamwork skills. In addition, the paper describes how BlackBoard is used to summarize group in class discussions as well as summarize group out of class discussions via weekly progress reports.

Course Description ENGR 215: Introduction to Design is required by Environmental Resources Engineering Majors at Humboldt State University. The course has the prerequisite of ENGR 115: Introduction to Environmental Science and Engineering and a corequisite of Calculus I. Freshman engineering students are strongly encouraged to take ENGR 115 their first semester on campus and ENGR 215 their second semester on campus.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Eschenbach, E., & Cashman, E. (2004, June), Teaming In Freshman Design Using A Studio Teaching Approach And Blackboard® Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13449

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