Management of a large team-design and robotics-oriented sophomore design class

John T. Tester

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Development and implementation of innovative, team-oriented, undergraduate design experiences can stimulate innovation in the engineering curriculum. However, combining team design with a hands-on technical realization experience can become unwieldy for an engineering program, due to the management of materials, students and instructors. Northern Arizona University has developed a management scheme for one of their large team design classes which allows for a controlled environment in which the class can be presented, yet flexible enough to incorporate ongoing changes each semester. The interdisciplinary sophomore design course - EGR 286 - is a relatively large class size for a single session, enrolling up to seventy students. It requires the coordination of over twenty student teams, each using separately assigned, university-owned, Lego® Mindstorm kits and accessories. The teams are eventually merged into a smaller number of larger teams by mid-semester. The assignments and anonymous student peer evaluations are managed through the adaptation of a distance-learning web-based system. The logistics of the team assignments, kit issue, student teaching assistants and computing/laptop management are addressed. The management scheme has resulted in an ability to allow several different instructors to teach the class with less difficulty. Another result is that the management structure allows for new projects and even new equipment to be implemented without changing the underlying teaching objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4720581
Pages (from-to)T3HB24-T3B29
JournalProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
StatePublished - 2008
Event38th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2008 - Saratoga Springs, NY, United States
Duration: Oct 22 2008Oct 25 2008


  • Class management
  • Engineering education
  • Legos
  • Mindstorm
  • Robotics education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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