Supporting multi-discipline undergraduate group projects

2012-04-18T08:23:32Z (GMT) by Ella-Mae Hubbard Keith Gregory
Student group projects are an important part of undergraduate engineering programmes. They provide an opportunity for students to apply the theory that they have learned and experience a situation analogous to that which they will encounter after graduation. A number of significant changes have been made to the group projects run by the School of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering at Loughborough University. One of these changes means that students on different degree courses from across the department will be working together on the same projects. This paper reports on a research project that investigated effective practice in the management and support of major student group projects in the School of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering and also across Loughborough University. Technological solutions were sought that were of potential use in supporting the student group project process. Requirements for a support system have been identified and an eLearning hub, complete with user guides for both students and staff, has been developed. This new support system will help students manage their group projects, thereby gaining the best experience. It will also aid staff in their understanding of the project and their role in it. Lessons learned here, together with evaluation and guidance, will provide useful points of interest for those involved in other student group projects. This paper focuses on the identification of issues to be addressed during the evolution of a group project module and development of a support system for multi-discipline student group projects.