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On the Utilization of Web-Based Collaboration Tools by Student Design Teams

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael D. Koch, Irem Y. Tumer

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Richard J. Schulte

ReRooting Collaborative, Cleveland, OH

Paper No. IMECE2010-39207, pp. 321-329; 9 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Engineering Education and Professional Development
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4443-4
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Over the last couple decades, the engineering world has seen a steady increase in collaboration and knowledge sharing through predominantly web-based means. Facilitated by a growing number of tools that allow for data and knowledge to be easily transferred, the technological landscape that organizations operate in is completely different than even a couple years ago. Specifically for engineering design, mainstream tools such as email, forums and wikis have been researched in both a professional sense as well as in design education. The following paper looks to build off these studies by identifying and studying the wide range of tools that engineering students utilize on their own accord to collaborate and progress towards finishing a design project. Specifically, mechanical and industrial engineering students enrolled in introductory design courses at Oregon State University and Humboldt State University were observed, interviewed and surveyed regarding these topics. The following will outline the findings from this study, with hopes that this work can help others in the design education field better understand and make better use of the tools that students prefer to use. Also, as the next generation of engineers moves onto professional careers, the ability of engineering firms to understand how the younger generation collaborates and communicates will be important in shaping how engineering firms efficiently utilize new web-based tools in engineering design.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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