R. T. Abler, J. V. Krogmeier, A. Ault, J. Melkers, T. Clegg, and E. J. Coyle, “Enabling and Evaluating Collaboration of Distributed Teams with High Definition Collaboration Systems,” Proceedings of the 2010 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Louisville, KY, June 20-23, 2010.


Enabling and Evaluating Collaboration of Distributed Teams with High Definition Collaboration Systems
The Vertically-Integrated Projects (VIP) program creates and supports large-scale, long-term, vertically-integrated teams that pursue design projects embedded in the research efforts of faculty and their graduate students. The undergraduates on these teams earn academic credit for their participation in the projects and benefit from long-term mentorship by the faculty, graduate students, and more experienced undergraduates on their team. In this paper, we report on a unique opportunity for VIP teams at Purdue and Georgia Tech to collaborate on a common VIP project called eStadium. The goal of this project is research, design and deployment of applications related to the real-time delivery of multimedia content over wireless networks to fans' mobile devices in a stadium during football games. To help the teams collaborate to achieve this goal, we have deployed High-Definition Distributed Collaboration (HDDC) systems at Purdue and Georgia Tech. They support two-way, high-definition video links and shared computer applications that together significantly enhance the teams’ collaboration on the project. The VIP Program benefits from a multi-methodological and longitudinal evaluation of progress toward goals and VIP outcomes. The evaluation blends rich interview-based qualitative data with a detailed social network analysis of student-level collaborative interaction and outcomes. The approach draws from studies of scientific collaboration, student learning outcomes, and social network analysis. This paper presents baseline evaluation data on early learning outcomes, student expectations, and the structure and resources of the student VIP networks. The lessons learned from this initial round of assessments will be used to improve both VIP and the collaborative system.