The use of social network sites in a global engineering design project
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Brisco, Ross; Whitfield, Robert Ian; Grierson, Hilary
Institution: University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
Section: Design Education
The global design project challenges students from three European universities to work in engineering design teams on the development of a product. To execute the design process, students have chosen to utilise social network sites as a platform for communication and collaboration. The aim of the study was to investigate how students were utilising social network sites as part of their collaborative work during the global design project and their views on the level of support given. A survey and semi-formal interviews were used to collect data on views and the use of social network sites. The study reveals: (1) the popularity of different social network sites for social and academic tasks, (2) the expectation of support students' and academics' think is required, and (3) a need for greater guidance in the use of social network sites. The use of social network sites by students' is discussed with a focus on how they can be better supported in future projects. This paper proposes that students' and academic staff require guidance on the best practices for using social network sites in global design projects to support students' education.