Assessing interactions among students geographically disperse during multinational design projects
Esparragoza, Ivan E.
Lascano Farak, Sheila Katherine
Ocampo, Jared Roberto
Duque-Rivera Duque-Rivera, Jorge W.
Rodriguez, Carlos A.
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The new business model and global operations of many enterprises have brought new challenges for engineers working in multinational companies. These new trends and the need of educating world-class engineers with global competencies have opened opportunities for new educational models to expose students to international experiences to start developing those capabilities. One pedagogical activity used to promote global competencies is the participation of students in multinational design projects, which is a problem-based learning approach in an international setting, where students get immersed in the solution of an engineering design task while they work in teams and collaborate with international partners. Consequently, a collaborative network of institutions from the Americas and Italy has developed and executed collaborative multinational design projects as part of academic experiences for their students. The main goal of these projects is to foster international collaboration and to offer an opportunity to the students to develop professional skills through international teamwork effort in the solution of a design problem. However, a real challenge of this practice has been to create an effective interaction among the students participating in this type of projects and to maintain the flow of information, and student engagement in the project and in their learning. Therefore, this paper reports the work related to an assessment approach used to monitor students' interaction in multinational collaborative projects. The main objectives of the proposed assessment tool are: (a) to evaluate the interaction among the students (frequency, quantity and quality); (b) to determine the value of social interaction in the flow of the interaction; (c) to determine the impact of interaction in the development of the project.
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