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Unifying Assessment Of Freshman Design Teams With Team Project Management

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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

Recruiting, Retention & Advising

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1376.1 - 10.1376.10



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Paper Authors

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Pierre Larochelle

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

Session #XXXX State of the Art in Freshman Programs

Unifying Assessment of Freshman Design Teams With Team Project Management

Pierre Larochelle

Florida Institute of Technology Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering 150 West University Blvd. Melbourne, FL 32901

Abstract This paper discusses efforts to unify the assessment of first-year engineering design project teams with the project management skills and techniques employed by the teams. Assessment of the performance of individual design project team members is always a difficult task- especially in large classes such as Introduction to Mechanical Engineering. Project management is also a difficult challenge for both the instructors and the students- again even more so since we are dealing with first-year students. This paper presents a methodology for addressing both of these challenges in one cohesive project management effort. The result has been increased team productivity, a better experience for the students, increased student retention, and valuable data for the instructor that enables the assessment of the performance of individual team members within the context of large engineering design project teams.

Course Overview In 1997 a major overhaul of the introductory experience to Mechanical Engineering at Florida Tech was initiated. The purpose of this overhaul was to develop an experience that would serve to: (1) prepare students for the ME curriculum, (2) motivate students to complete their studies, (3) provide students with academic success skills, and (4) introduce students to the engineering profession. The format chosen to realize this goal is a yearlong sequence of two courses that freshmen take entitled Introduction to Mechanical Engineering I (MAE1022 Fall, 2 credits) and II (MAE1023 Spring, 1 credit). This sequence is a project-motivated experience inspired by traditional capstone design courses. In the fall students are taught basic academic success skills such as time management, study skills, working in study groups, self-motivation, and goal setting. Next, a major team-based design project is assigned. This is immediately followed by an introduction to basic design theory and methodology including brainstorming techniques. Students then learn the skills they need in order to complete the design: computer-aided design via Pro/ENGINEER, basic machine shop skills, generating dimensioned

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

Larochelle, P. (2005, June), Unifying Assessment Of Freshman Design Teams With Team Project Management Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15311

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