Global design team: A global service-learning experience Academic Article uri icon


  • The rising globalization trends of international competition and the changing societal, professional, and global landscapes for engineering graduates, call for action towards integrated learning strategies to prepare engineers for the future. This paper describes a global service-learning experience, the Global Design Team (GDT), which provides students with high-impact, multidisciplinary, collaborative experience. The global design experience is an intense international cultural exchange woven into service-learning development projects that address engineering grand challenges. This experience strives for positive, sustainable interaction with stakeholder communities through the application of technical skills and competencies of students to specific challenges within the partner communities. The research question addresses whether GDT is an experience effective at positively impacting the global competence of engineering students. The paper presents the GDT model and assessment results of two experiences in Kenya and Palestine. Students participating in GDTs are asked to participate in a pre/post course assessment that monitors the efficacy of the program in meeting a set of global competency outcomes, and community partners are asked toprovide feed back on their relationship with the team. Results indicate that the GDT offers engineering students an experience effective at positively impacting global competence, with the potential to be expanded to institutions both nationally and globally. Furthermore, the international partners survey indicates that the GDT is an important service of value to the local community. The paper presents detailed survey and assessment results of what global attributes are impacted by this experience and ways to improve it. The paper shows that the GDT is a unique curricular experience towards changing the mindset of engineers from designing for an industrial-type client, to designing with a community. © 2012 TEMPUS Publications.

author list (cited authors)

  • Mohtar, R. H., & Dare, A. E.

publication date

  • February 2012