Evaluating the use of digital product repositories to enhance product dissection activities in the classroom

Matt Devendorf, Kemper Lewis, Timothy W. Simpson, Robert B. Stone, William C. Regli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Product dissection has been used successfully in a variety of ways to actively engage students in their learning; however, using product dissection in the classroom does have drawbacks: products, tools, and their upkeep can be costly, workspace and storage space can be difficult to obtain, and even the best crafted dissection assignments can end in chaos. Recent cyberinfrastructure initiatives seek to create ubiquitous, comprehensive, interactive, and functionally complete digital environments for research communities that consist of people, data, information, tools, and instruments. With product dissection as our unifying theme, we are applying cyberinfrastructure tools and technologies to undergraduate engineering education and assessing the impact of these tools on student learning. Specifically, the project combines product dissection activities at three universities with two digital design repositories CAD modeling and animation, video, and MediaWiki technology to enable cyberinfrastructure-based product dissection activities. Lessons learned from these efforts are presented from the students' perspectives as well as that of the faculties in both engineering and computer science. The implications for implementing the developments on a national scale are discussed along with ongoing research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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