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Developing design team working capability: some planning factors emerging from a survey of engineering design courses

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conference contribution
posted on 2006-03-10, 11:24 authored by Howard G. Denton
work with emphasis on the development of student team working capability. This is based on a wider study conducted for the Design Council and Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) in early 1996. Teamwork is of particular interest to these bodies because: • team working experience is mandatory for gaining Chartered Engineer status • industrialists are increasingly vocal in demanding that undergraduates experience teamwork during their courses and develop a capability in team working • there is evidence that design work, when done in properly established and managed teams, can be more effective in terms of the period of evolution of the product, the potential for innovative thinking, and the reliability of the product. A series of semi-structured interviews was held with 15 specialist engineering design lecturers and three Visiting Professors at 12 UK universities. The factors emerging from the interviews were organised using a form of elementary cluster analysis. A modified Delphi technique was then used to clarify these factors . The paper identifies some emerging factors which relate to the planning of team based design work: • establishing a university wide perspective on team working capability • the clarity of specific learning objectives relating to team working capability • development factors: • team selection: size, mix, roles, organisation • team building • establishing a team base • task type, context and degree of multi-dimensionality • the use of information technology to support team based project work. The above are discussed and related to some of the literature in the field.



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DENTON, H.G., 1996. Developing design team working capability: some planning factors emerging from a survey of engineering design courses. IDATER 1996 Conference, Loughborough University.


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