Designing Hands-On Teaming Activities: Exploring Sustainability Tradeoffs for Courses with Large Enrollments

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2010-01-01
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Williams, Christopher
McNair, Lisa
Crede, Erin
Paretti, Marie
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Terpenny, Janis
Professor Emeritus
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Center for e-Design

The Center for e-Design is a cooperative research center combining industry needs with academic resources to produce more efficient, effective, and collaborative electronic design processes and tools. Many high-tech companies and agencies face engineering challenges that limit the evolution of systems and products. The Center is committed to resolving these challenges through creative and innovative research. Center activities focus on fundamental research, research test beds, engineering education, and technology transfer. The Center for e-Design is a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.

Current Participating Institutions: Brigham Young University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Iowa State University (lead institution), Oregon State University, University at Buffalo–The State University of New York, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Wayne State University.

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In this paper, the authors explore sustainability issues that exist in the development of hands-on activities for classes with large enrollments. Specifically, the authors study four different teambuilding activities, all with varying levels of resource commitment, to assess potential tradeoffs between cost, environmental impact, and learning objectives pertaining to design and teaming. Faced with several alternatives and multiple, conflicting objectives, the authors approach this choice from a design context. Specifically, following the identification of activity constraints and objectives, activity alternatives are evaluated against several metrics with post-activity student surveys. Survey data is then translated into an appropriate input for a systematic selection framework, the selection Decision Support Problem. The use of this framework allows the authors to select a teaming activity alternative that offers the best compromise to their multiple design goals.

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This article is from International Journal of Engineering Education 26 (2010): 408–417. Posted with permission.

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Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2010
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