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A framework for design engineering education in a global context

Wodehouse, A.J. and Grierson, H. and Breslin, C. and Eris, O. and Ion, W.J. and Liefer, L. and Mabogunje, A. (2010) A framework for design engineering education in a global context. International Journal on Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacture, 24 (3). pp. 367-378. ISSN 0890-0604

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This paper presents a framework for teaching design engineering in a global context using innovative technologies to enable distributed teams to work together effectively across international and cultural boundaries. The DIDET Framework represents the findings of a 5-year project conducted by the University of Strathclyde, Stanford University and Olin College which enhanced student learning opportunities by enabling them to partake in global, team based design engineering projects, directly experiencing different cultural contexts and accessing a variety of digital information sources via a range of innovative technology. The use of innovative technology enabled the formalization of design knowledge within international student teams as did the methods that were developed for students to store, share and reuse information. Coaching methods were used by teaching staff to support distributed teams and evaluation work on relevant classes was carried out regularly to allow ongoing improvement of learning and teaching and show improvements in student learning. Major findings of the 5 year project include the requirement to overcome technological, pedagogical and cultural issues for successful eLearning implementations. The DIDET Framework encapsulates all the conclusions relating to design engineering in a global context. Each of the principles for effective distributed design learning is shown along with relevant findings and suggested metrics. The findings detailed in the paper were reached through a series of interventions in design engineering education at the collaborating institutions. Evaluation was carried out on an ongoing basis and fed back into project development, both on the pedagogical and the technological approaches.