SynThesis: Integrating Real World Product Design and Business Development with the Challenges of Innovative Instruction

Robert E. Appel and Natalie Jeremijenko
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yale University
9 Hillhouse Ave. New Haven CT 06520, USA

SynThesis: Product Design and Business Development for Entrepreneurial Teams is a new curricular offering at Yale University that brings together engineering, computer science, and management students into entrepreneurial teams to create new products and business plans. The evolution of the design of this full-year course is described herein, including the objective of orienting the course deliverables to product-based learning; the use of external validation and peer evaluation; close relationships with industry; privileging a team-based reward systems; reinforcing collaborative learning and problem solving; delivering just-in-time course materials; and aligning projects and self-assembling teams with the concerns of the students. The paper also elaborates on methods of course assessment and student and team self-assessment.


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