Designing Hands-On Teaming Activities: Exploring Sustainability Tradeoffs for Courses with Large Enrollments

Christopher B. Williams and Janis P. Terpenny
Department of Engineering Education, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
E-mail: cbwilliams@vt.edu, terpenny@vt.edu

Lisa D. McNair, Erin D. Crede, and Marie C. Paretti
Department of Engineering Education, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
E-mail: lmcnair@vt.edu, ecrede@vt.edu, mparetti@vt.edu

Abstract:
In this paper, the authors explore sustainability issues that exist in the development of hands-on activities for classes with large enrollments. Specifically, the authors study four different team- building activities, all with varying levels of resource commitment, to assess potential tradeoffs between cost, environmental impact, and learning objectives pertaining to design and teaming. Faced with several alternatives and multiple, conflicting objectives, the authors approach this choice from a design context. Specifically, following the identification of activity constraints and objectives, activity alternatives are evaluated against several metrics with post-activity student surveys. Survey data is then translated into an appropriate input for a systematic selection framework, the selection Decision Support Problem. The use of this framework allows the authors to select a teaming activity alternative that offers the best compromise to their multiple design goals.

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