HOW REMOTE/DISTANCE CLASS INSTRUCTION WHEN WORKING WITH INDUSTRY/INSTITUTIONAL PROJECT SPONSORS ON A STUDIO PROJECT CAN BE MANAGED TO PROVIDE A ROBUST EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE
Editor: Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon
Author: Choi, Young Mi; Wilson, Wendell Gordon
Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology, United States of America
Section: Innovation and Creativity in Design and Engineering Education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2021.12
This paper will examine how remote communication tools such as ‘BlueJeans’ or Microsoft ‘Teams’ can be employed in a studio project to enhance the undergraduate educational experience in the context of remote class instruction. Junior level students in the School of Industrial Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology take specific themed studio courses, one of which is ‘Health & Well Being’.. which is being taught in a ‘hybrid’ delivery mode in response to COVID related concerns. Recognizing that remote instruction could compromise learning opportunities, the course was organized to follow a model used professionally by this author when managing multiple team projects as a design director. Three projects championed by outside sponsors included (1) the design of paramedic equipment transport solutions; (2) systems to reduce the acuity of Nexxspan medical headwalls in behavior health or end-of-life scenarios; (3) and development of a system for arterial dialysis. Sponsors include a former fireman/paramedic, a commercial company that offers a range of hospital equipment management products and a transplant surgeon with the School of Medicine at the University of South Carolina. Sponsors pitched the projects to the students at the outset of the semester. Students formed teams of 3-4 students based on their affinity to individual projects; 5 teams being fielded out of a class of 20 students. Teams initially met in person or remotely with their project sponsors to better understand their chosen projects. Users and/or subject matter experts were interviewed remotely during the research process. Remote sessions were held twice weekly with each team to review progress and provide feedback/advice. Each team presented their work to sponsors and the class as a whole at 3 points during the semester using the BlueJeans application to summarize research, concept development and concept refinement/documentation. In comparison with comparable projects conducted during previous semesters, it was observed that the option to participate remotely permitted outside sponsors to be MORE available to students with transportation and parking no longer being an impediment. Furthermore, by scheduling focused feedback/input to individual teams via a remote application, the effectiveness and efficiency of the instruction process was optimized for both the students and instructor. The drawbacks of this remote instruction relate more to issues of poor team dynamics or individual students lacking key design skills (which might be better addressed in person). Additionally it has been observed that students not meeting face-face in studio limits peer-peer competition which decreases individual motivation for improvement in problematic students.