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Virtual student exchange: lessons learned in virtual international teaming in interdisciplinary design education

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4 Author(s)
E. Doerry ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ, USA ; R. Klempous ; J. Nikodem ; W. Paetzold

The increasing globalization of corporate economies has changed the face of engineering practice. In addition to core engineering skills, modern engineers must possess cross-cultural communication skills, team management skills, and the ability to perform on geographically-distributed teams. As part of a novel curricular paradigm we are exploring the so called Global Engineering College (GEC). We have developed the concept of virtual student exchange, which aims to address the geographic and temporal obstacles to joint international teaming by allowing students at one institution to participate virtually in team design courses offered at another institution. After a year of planning and software development, we piloted this concept in Fall 2003 and again in Spring 2004, allowing German and Polish students to participate as team members in a robotics design course offered at the University of Northern Arizona (USA). We describe the virtual student exchange concept, report on our experiences piloting the key elements of this model under an NSF planning grant, focusing on the many obstacles - both expected and unexpected - encountered, and solutions developed to address them.

Published in:

Information Technology Based Higher Education and Training, 2004. ITHET 2004. Proceedings of the FIfth International Conference on

Date of Conference:

31 May-2 June 2004