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Enhancing design learning using groupware

Wodehouse, A.J. and Eris, O. and Grierson, H.J. and Mabogunje, A. (2007) Enhancing design learning using groupware. International Journal of Engineering Education, 23 (3). pp. 557-569. ISSN 0949-149X

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Abstract

Project work is increasingly used to help engineering students integrate, apply and expand on knowledge gained from theoretical classes in their curriculum and expose students to 'real world' tasks [1]. To help facilitate this process, the department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management at the University of Strathclyde has developed a web±based groupware product called LauLima to help students store, share, structure and apply information when they are working in design teams. This paper describes a distributed design project class in which LauLima has been deployed in accordance with a Design Knowledge Framework that describes how design knowledge is generated and acquired in industry, suggesting modes of design teaching and learning. Alterations to the presentation, delivery and format of the class are discussed, and primarily relate to embedding a more rigorous form of project-based learning. The key educational changes introduced to the project were: the linking of information concepts to support the design process; a multidisciplinary team approach to coaching; and a distinction between formal and informal resource collections. The result was a marked improvement in student learning and ideation.