DS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2019), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 12th -13th September 2019

Year: 2019
Editor: Bohemia, Erik; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Buck, Lyndon; Brisco, Ross; Evans, Dorothy; Grierson, Hilary; Ion, William; Whitfield, Robert Ian
Author: Leung, Winnie (1); Wang, Yun (2); Kim, Seong-Woo (3)
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: Division of Integrative Systems and Design, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong S.A.R. (China); 2: Department of Industrial Design, Beihang University, China; 3: Graduate School of Engineering Practice, Seoul National University, Korea
Section: Changing Innovation Landscapes 1
DOI number:
ISBN: 978-1-912254-05-7


Over three years 2016-2019, three top universities in Asia have joint hands in offering a truly collaborative course ~ Global Product Development. Leveraging modern teaching tools to overcome geographical and cultural separations, the joint course succeeded in delivering impactful learning outcomes for 180 students. The high-level course objective is to prepare students to face future global challenges by providing the project-based experiential learning opportunity in developing a user-centered product from early conceptualization to deployment. The dozens of lecture topics range from market research, to industrial design and design methodology, to IP and fundraising for start-ups. The diversity in thought processes inherent to the joint course gave way to an intensive project experience where high value feedback is constantly given to improve on the product design iteration.

Lean product development cycle is used as a guide to help student teams in bringing to potential users a Minimum Viable Prototype (MVP) in the shortest time and at lowest cost. Students work in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams to iterate through a. seeking and defining a global user-centered design problem, b. developing the engineering design alternatives to solve it, and c. building prototypes of different levels of fidelity to support the product development. Within the span of a 13-week semester, the project teams learn from real-time video-streamed lectures, collaborate through different online tools, and work and present during 3 face-to-face meeting opportunities at the three campuses.

Strategic milestones and check-points are embedded to maximize project learning and allowing flexible yet accountable assessment mechanisms. In this paper, we will share the iterative course design, the three parties’ contributions in relevant areas of technical expertise, effective online tools used to manage students’ communications and progress, and the challenges and rewards in the joint venture. Finally, an unstipulated output of the course is to groom start-up teams targeting at the global market. These teams are recommended to notable incubation programs in the region to continue their innovation journey. Two start-up success stories will be discussed in the paper to illustrate distinctive impact of the joint course.

Keywords: project-based learning, multidisciplinary teams, online collaboration


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